ERNEST HARRY STEVENS
Royal Berkshire Regiment 5th Battalion
Killed in action 19/07/1917
ARRAS MEMORIAL, Bay 7.
Details of the memorial can be found here (Opens in a new window)
Son of T. C. and A. F. Stevens, of 36 Stanley Rd, Chingford, Essex.
Born: Buckhurst Hill, Essex
Enlisted: Walthamstow, Essex
Residence: Chingford, Essex
The following is a transcript of Ernest`s and his battalions war diary for the period of Ernest`s untimely death.
Thursday 19th July 1917 France, In Left Subsector of Trenches
`D` Coy of the Battalion carried out a small local attack with object of capturing continuation of LONG Trench opposite HOOK Trench and joining it up with MOUND SAP on right and HOOK SAP on left.
Artillery Barrage was to come down in rear of objective at Zero + 10 seconds.
The attack was carried out in two waves - the first wave consisting of 2 platoons in line on frontage of 240 yards, lightly equipped, and the second wave of one platoon carrying tools and prepared to consolidate.
The plan of attack was framed on the assumption that the trench would be found very lightly held.
At Zero the first wave closely followed by the second wave rushed across to the enemy trench (120yds) but was met by a shower of canister bombs and by very stubborn resistance from a large number of enemy.
Some of the attacking troops remained in the enemy trench for 15 minutes, but as they were considerably outnumbered, and their bombs were exhausted they had to withdraw and by 3.30p.m. were all back in our front line, except for casualties.
Casualties :- 2Lt A. MAYBURY missing believed killed
2Lt B. LYONS
3 other ranks Killed, 24 other ranks wounded, 14 other ranks missing.
In view of intelligence as to strength of enemy during this operation, the Divisional Commander now decided to adopt a defensive policy and orders were given to the Battalion to concentrate on wiring HOOK and HILL Trenches.