Pte. H. Thompson
FIRST NAMES: Harry
UNIT: 2nd Yorkshire Regiment
STATUS: Killed in Action
DATE OF DEATH: 27th March 1918
CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Pozieres Memorial
Harry Thompson was born in Northallerton and was baptised on 10th November 1898. His parents were John Thomas and Bertha Thompson of Oak Tree Yard and his father was a plate layer. He was the younger brother of Pte. J.T. Thompson whose name is also commemorated on the Northallerton memorial.
He originally served with the 10th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, but his battalion was disbanded on 10th February 1918 and he was posted to the 2nd Battalion with whom he met his death a few weeks later. According to the obituary published in the North East Railway Magazine he was working with the 20th Entrenching Battalion when he was killed.
On 27th March 1918 the 2nd Yorkshires were occupying positions along a minor road which runs out of the village of Folies in a South-Easterly direction, towards the neighbouring village of Arvillers. This minor road cuts across what is now the D934 Roye to Amiens road. They had been fighting constantly since 21st March when the Germans launched their Spring Offensive. Then their positions had been on the outskirts of the town of St. Quentin and in just 6 days the British had been pushed back almost 40 Kms.
The Germans attacked on either side of the Yorkshires, towards Arvillers on their right and Beaufort on their left. D Company was sent forward to support the 17th Kings Liverpool Regiment at Beaufort, but when they got there they found that the Kings were already falling back so they formed a covering line and withdrew with them. There then followed a further general retreat through Le Quesnel and the Battalion was finally re-grouped and marched to Rouvrel via Mezieres, Villers-aux-Erables, Moreul and Morisel.
As so often happened during the retreat, there was no time to bury the dead and many of those lost as the British positions were overrun were never found. Their names are recorded on the Memorial to The Missing at Pozieres on the nearby Somme battlefield.