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 KEN BLAKE  - INTERVIEW HYLDA AND MAURICE MASLEN'S STORY. CHRISTMAS DAY AT AMBALA, INDIA HYLDA AND MAURICE MASLEN'S STORY. THE AIRFIELD AT AMBALA, INDIA ERIC DOWNING AND ROLAND LEMASSON ERIC DOWNING'S STORY. A SHERMAN TANK EQUIPPED AS A FLAIL TANK DOUGLAS GOULBORN ON THE COMMANDANT DROGOU DOUGLAS GOULBORN'S SHIP, THE COMMANDANT DROGOU

Private 19203 Horace Harding

7th Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 3rd May 1917

Arras Memorial, Bay 5.

Born: Hemel Hempstead.

Residence: Watford.

Enlisted: Bedford.

Private 20841 Joseph Hosier

7th Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 3rd May 1917

Son of the late Joseph and Mary Ann Hosier, of Bury Rd., Hemel Hempstead, Herts; husband of Ethel May Hunt (formerly Hosier).

Arras Memorial, Bay 5.

Born: Hemel Hempstead.

Residence: Two Waters.

Enlisted: Bedford.

Private 3/7947 Alfred Mead

7th Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 3rd May 1917

Son of William and Elizabeth Mead, of 13, St. Margaret's, Hemel Hempstead, Herts; husband of Isabella J. Mead, of 1, Little Gaddesden, Berkhamsted, Herts.

Arras Memorial, Bay 5.

Born: Great Gaddesden.

Residence: Little Gaddesden.

Enlisted: Hertford.

 

On 3rd May 1917, Horace Harding, Joseph Hosier and Alfred Mead were killed while serving with the 7th Bedfordshires.  

The battalion war diary tells us that an attack on Cherisy was supposed to begin at 3:45 but it was not light enough so that was moved to 4:15am. The barrage was bad as it was irregular. When the advance began at zero hour, but men lost direction as with 12 paces apart they could hard see each other. The regiment on the left also lost direction, confusing the attack leading to lack of direction. Four tanks were to attack Fontaine village, but one wouldn’t start, and another went but a short distance.  Another tank made its way down Wood Junction, coming through advancing lines adding to confusion and some men returned to the front line again.  They were reformed by their officers and again advanced. The barrage had gone on and the battalion was held at Fontaine Junction which was defended. The wire was thick and undamaged. They came under heavy machine gun fire from the Vis-en-Artois, Cherisy, Fontaine  Trench and from and Wood Trench. Small detachments pushed to get a better angle by Fontaine and Wood Junction. At this time, the majority of 55th Brigade had reached the first objectives on the left.

The remains of the Battalion at about 10 am were in front of Fontaine Junction. At this time the Leinsters on the right had not made good Wood Trench except  a small proportion at the western end.  Some groups of the 53rd Brigade rushed a portion of their second objective. About 11:30 the 14th Division further to the left commenced retiring followed by the 53rd brigade and the Middlesex, and some group of the Bedfords, but about one company still remained in the shell holes in front of Fontaine and Wood Trenches.  A further unsuccessful attack too place at 7.15pm.  

Source:

  • 7th Bedfordshire Regiment War Diary, Catalogue Reference: WO 95/2043

By John Bristow & Evie Hubbard

27th June 2017

 

Joseph Hosier's name on the Arras Memorial

(Photo: Richard Grayson, 3rd April 2014.)

 

Alfred Mead's name on the Arras Memorial

(Photo: Richard Grayson, 3rd April 2014.)

 

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