3276/200897 Private ROBERT ARCHER.

4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in action, aged 21, on the 23rd of April 1917.

Born and enlisted at Skelton in Cleveland.

Son of Mary and the late George Archer of 22 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green, N Yorkshire.

The Arras Memorial.

1901. Robert Archer, aged 5, is living at 22 Boosbeck Rd.
His father George, from March in Cambridgeshire, is an Ironstone miner.
His mother, Mary, age 34, was born in Littleport, Cambridgeshire. By 1911 she has had 6 children and all are living.
Robert has 2 brothers, George, an Ironstone Miner age 16 and Thomas age 2.
And two Sisters - Maud 14 and Ada 9.

1911. The family are still at 22 Boosbeck Rd and at the age 15 Robert is an Ironstone Mine Worker.
His mother is now a Widow and Robert with his brother George, age 25, who is still an Ironstone Miner below ground, is supporting the family.
3 more children have arrived - Freda 8, Albert 5 and Blanche 2.

Robert went out to France on the 2nd September 1915 and presumably fought with the 4th Yorks through all their trials of 1915 and 1916 at Ypres and the Somme before he was killed at Arras in 1917.
The 4th Yorks Battalion were part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
The British Army launched a large-scale attack at Arras as part of a master plan by the new French Commander in Chief Robert Nivelle.
Although initially successful, it soon bogged down as with most and became a terribly costly affair, as with most.
The British attack was against the formidable Hindenburg Line, to which the enemy had recently made a strategic withdrawal.
The battle can be considered to be composed of a number of phases: the Battle of Vimy and the First Battle of the Scarpe were the opening phases.
The Second and Third Battle of the Scarpe and the final Battle of Bullecourt and other actions against the Hindenburg Line concluded the fighting.
The 4th Yorks Battalion made 12 gruelling marches from the Somme area to join this offensive on the 20th April and Robert was killed with many others attacking the German trenches.
Full details can be read starting here.

Robert is commemorated on the Arras Memorial along with 35,000 men who died in this area and have no known grave.

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