SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
3010/200770 Private HERBERT ARTHUR DOWEY.
1/4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment
Killed in action, age 19, on the 23rd April 1917
Born and enlisted at Skelton in Cleveland.
Son of Robert and Sarah E Dowey of 44 Park Street, Skelton Green, N Yorks.
1901. Herbert, aged 3, is living at 19 Harker St, Skelton Green, place of birth.
His father, Robert, aged 49, worked on the face in the Ironstone Mines. He did not know his place of birth, "but in England".
His mother, Sarah E, aged 46, had been born in Marske, Cleveland, N Yorks. She had had 11 children and only 5 were still living.
He has 3 brothers, Robert, age 13, an Errand lad, Earnest, age 11 and John J, age 6.
1911. The family is living at 44 Park Street, Skelton.
Herbert is at School. His brothers are all working in the Ironstone Mines; Robert, 23, as a miner at the face, Ernest W, 20, as a Shifter and John James, 16, as a Rope lad.
A new son has arrived Alfred, age 3.
The 4th Yorks Battalion were part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
Herbert's Medal Card shows that he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star. The date in 1916 or later when he first joined the Battalion in France is not known.
In April 1917 they took part in the offensive to the East of Arras and many men were killed and wounded.
The British launched a large scale attack at Arras 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.
Full details based on the 4th Yorks War Diary can be read starting here.
Herbert is commemorated on the Arras memorial which bears the names of 35,000 men who died in this area and have no known grave.