SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
3308/200914 Private HARRY DALE.
4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.
Killed in action on the 23rd of April 1917, aged 28.
Born at Pickering, N Yorks. Enlisted at Saltburn by Sea, N Yorks.
Son of Charles and Louisa Dale of 24 Wharton St, North Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Harry was born in December 1888 in Rosedale, N Yorks.
1891 - At the Census he is living in Wharton St, N Skelton.
His father, Charles H, aged 28 is an Ironstone Miner below ground and a native of Ingleby Arncliffe, N Yorks.
His mother is Louisa [nee Fawcett], aged 32, born at Sowerby, Thirsk, N Yorks.
He has 2 sisters, Jane E, 9, Edith M, 4 and a brother John W, aged 6.
1901 - The family are living at 24 Wharton St.
Edith and Harry, aged 12, are the only children still living at home.
The father, Charles, must have had an accident in the Ironstone Mine as he is recorded at this time in the Miners' Hospital, 89 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green.
1911 - The family are still at 24 Wharton St and Harry, now 22, is working in the Ironstone Mine as an Onsetter, [putting the tubs of iron ore into the cage at the pit bottom].
Charles, the father, is a Platelayer [laying rail lines underground for the tubs to run on.]
It appears that Edith has had an illegitimate child in 1903 as the only other household member recorded is Benjamin Dale, Grandson, aged 8.
1915 June - Harry married Alice Jane Grange, who was a year younger than him and lived at 30 Jackson St, Brotton, village of birth.
They did not have long together, as Harry went to France in the October.
The 4th Yorks Battalion were part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
Harry's Medal Card shows that he first went to France on the 9th October 1915 and unless he spent time out wounded must have gone through all the Battalion's trials at Ypres in 1915/16 and the fighting on the Somme in 1916.
In April 1917 the Battalion were ordered to the Arras sector where the British launched a large scale attack in support of a larger plan by the French.
It was against the formidable Hindenberg line to which the Germans had made a strategic withdrawal.
The struggle continued on until May in several phases, opening with the Battle of Vimy and then the three Battles of the Scarpe (a river in that region).
General Douglas Haig, later wrote that the offensive at Arras was to divert the Germans, while the French attacked further South on the Chemin des Dames. His main objective was to advance at Ypres in the offensive that he would launch in July.
The 4th Yorks made 12 marches from the Somme region and joined in this offensive in late April.
On the day Harry was killed they attacked the German Trenches at dawn and many were killed and wounded.
Full details based on the Battalion War Diary can be read starting here.
Harry is commemorated on the Arras memorial which bears the names of 35,000 men who died in this area and have no known grave.