SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
248005 Private WILLIAM POWELL LINES
1/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.
Killed in action, age 32, on the 14th August 1917.
Born in Skelton, N Yorks. Enlisted at South Bank, N Yorks.
Son of William and Annie Lines,
of 41 Park St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Wancourt British Cemetery.
8km South of Arras.
1901. William, aged 14, was living at the Shop, 41 Park St. He had been born in Skelton.
His father, William, aged 52 was blind and worked as a Grocer. He had been born in Emmeth, Norfolk.
His mother, Anna, aged 47, had been born in Loftus, N Yorks. By 1911 she has had 11 children and 8 are still living.
He had an older brother, Joseph 17, who is listed as Fruiterer Greens, born Skelton.
There are four younger sisters - Elizabeth 12, Susannah 9, Isabella 8 and Miriam 5, all born in Skelton.
1911. William is living at 11 Upper Princess Street, South Bank and assisting his older brother John James Lines, age 28, in running a Grocer and Fruiterer Business.
John was also born in Skelton and is married to Ellen Gertrude, age 24.
The family are still at 41 Park St. The father, William is listed as General Dealer.
Only 2 daughters are still at home, Mary, 18, a Domestic servant and Miriam age 15.
The 1/5th Bn, Durham Light Infantry were formed in Stockton on Tees in August 1914.
They were attached to the 151st Brigade, 50th Division.
William's Medal Card shows that he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star.
The date in 1916 or later when he first joined his Battalion in France and any action that he may have been involved in prior to his death is not known.
In 1916 the 50th Division fought first at Ypres, Kemmel in the Spring and in the Battles of the Somme from August into 1917.
At the time of William's death the Division took part in the offensive at Arras.
The British attacked East of Arras from April 9th to May 16th against the formidable Hindenberg Line, to which the Germans had made a strategic withdrawal earlier in the year.
This operation was part of a larger plan by the French General Nivelle who attacked further South on the Aisne at the same time, with tragic results for the French Infantry, who afterwards staged a partial mutiny.
A great many men were killed and wounded in the British advance, more on average per day than on the Somme.
General Haig wrote later that Arras was purely a diversion, as his main objective was to advance at Ypres in the offensive that he would launch in July.
An advance was made at enormous cost in lives.
At the time of William's death the offensive had ceased and his Battalion were defending the Trenches, near Wancourt, that had been captured earlier.
He is buried at Wancourt, a village about 8 kilometres to the South East of Arras. The British Cemetery contains 1,936 burials, 829 of which are unidentified.