April 1918 -                       War Diary of the 1/4th  Btn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry for the period when Harold Houseman was killed.


MAJOR T. CHADWICK, M.C. Returned to “B” Echelon.

About 6.30pm - the 2nd Worcesters arrived and took over a portion of the line across the NEUVE EGLISE - KORTEPYP ROAD. The Battalion side slipped to to the Left, with “W” & “Z” Coys. In the front line and “X” & “Y” Companies in support, 1/4th  (H) Y& L Regt. On the left and dug in about 100 yards in advance of the prepared Army Line.


Line held by Battalion persistently shelled. A few Casualties were sustained. Germans observed to be massing on the right of the Brigade Sector. This continued during the afternoon.

4.40 am - The enemy opened an intense bombardment and he was seen to be attacking under cover of his barrage on the right of the brigade front. This attack was driven off by rifle and M.G fire. During this attack, the whole of the Battalion Sector was heavily shelled. Commanding Officer moved his Headquarters to cellrs in the village of NEUVE EGLISE, situated at the top of the KEMMEL ROAD. 2 LT. A.R CHANDLER wounded. MAJOR T. CHADWICK rejoined Battalion Headquarters from “B” Echelon. LT. COL. H.C FRASER returned to “B” Echelon.

About 9.30 pm - the enemy attacked under cover of darkness using M.G and rifle fire only. “W” 7 “Z” Companies and 1/4th  (H) Y & L Regt. on the left were driven into the Army Line.


7.00am - The enemy entered the right of the village of NEUVE EGLISE up the NIEPPE ROAD. Headquarters Company and support Companies with the 1/4th  (H) Y & L Regt. And Worcesters Supports attacked and cleared the village. 17 Prisoners were captured by this Battalion in the Y.M.C.A.  MAJOR T. CHADWICK, CAPT. E.E. GREENHOUGH and 2 LT. J.W. STROUD wounded. 2 LT G.W. BARNWELL and 2 LT. A.M. HAIGH killed in counter-attack. LT. COL. H.C. FRASER rejoined the battalion from “B” Echelon.

5.00pm - CAPT. J.C. BURROW, who was then in Command of both “W” & “Z” Companies reported that the enemy were attacking strongly and he was slowly being driven back. “X” Company  in Support were ordered to counter-attack. The counter-attack was successful, the enemy being driven back a distance of 170 yards.

At about 8.00pm - the enemy were seen to be again in the village on the right in the neighbourhood of the square. Battalion Headquarters moved to Y & L Headquarters about 200 yards down the KEMMEL ROAD. Battalion Headquarters took up a position on the railway embankment about 150 yards North of NEUVE EGLISE with Y & L on the left, and formed a defensive flank on the right.

Sun 14th

All details left on “B” Echelon arrived at noon and dug in in support of details holding defensive flank.

10.00am - The enemy attacked the front line Companies and penetrated the line on both flanks. They the made ground up the trench by bombing. An attempt was made to stop their further progress bur sufficient bombs were not available. “W” & “Z” Companies retired into reserve digging in in the rear of “B” Echelon details. Heavy shelling throughout the day on all positions behind NEUVE EGLISE. One shell penetrated the house adjoining Battalion Headquarters killing CAPT. J.C.BURROWS and wounding the Regimental Sergt. Major. A Brigade of Sherwood Foresters came up to support and one Company went forward to fill up gap in K.S.L.I to the left of our Brigade.

2.00pm - CAPT. & ADJT. F.W. MACKAY went to Brigade to explain the position and ask for a counter-attack on a large scale. At about 3pm the enemy attacked on both sides of NEUVE EGLISE after a light Trench Mortar bombardment and penetrated the line on both flanks. Headquarters Company & “Z” Company formed a defensive flank and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. LT. F.D. MARTIN AND 2 LT. W. E. BOOT wounded.

At about 6.00pm - when almost surrounded by the enemy they withdrew to a position about 500 yards in rear.


Early on the morning of the 15th the Battalion was relieved by the Notts & Derbys and marched to N.E of KEMMEL HILL to re-organise and rest. Battalion ordered to take over the KEMMEL DEFENCES from the XXII Corps Mounted Regiment, and preliminary reconnaissances of positions were made and arrangements completed for taking at 4am on the 16th



12.30am - Orders were received to proceed to Brigade Assembly Point on the LOCRE - BAILLEUL ROAD South of LOCRE CHATEAU, so as to be in a position for counter-attack. Battalion arrived opposite LOCRE CHATEAU at 3 am and was accommodated in Transport sheds for the remainder of the night

About 10.30am - the Battalion took up position in line of posts from South of LOCRE CHATEAU stretching from LOCRE - BAILLEUL ROAD for about 800 yards to the West. “Z” Company dug in on a line of 150 yards behind the left of the posts as Battalion  Reserve. Battalion Headquarters were at GAMEKEEPERS COTTAGE, South West of the Chateau. 1/th Y & L Regt. Were on the left of the LOCRE - BAILLEUL ROAD, 1/th Y & L in Brigade Reserve. The 88th Brigade were dug in on the right of the position in readiness to counter.


The Battalion remained in the above position. Orders were received in the afternoon to take over from portions of the 100th Infantry Brigade in a line of posts on a 500yards front North of KEERSEBROM.

Orde of Companies:

“Y” Company Right Front

“W” Company Left Front

“Z” Company Right Support

“X” Company Left Support

Portions of 2nd Worcesters, 9th Highland Light Infantry and 9th Northumberland Fusiliers were relieved in these positions. The Battalion was in position at 11.30pm. Immediately after taking over the Brigade Major of the 88th Infantry Brigade stated that the 2 Right Companies were in positions allotted to his Brigade. As a result of telephone conversation with 148th Infantry Brigade, “Y” & “Z” Companies were withdrawn from front positions and dug in on line in rear of “X” Company, finally completed at 3.30am. The Battalion then held 250 yards of front with “W” in front line, “X”in support and “Y” & “Z” Companies in reserve, 1/4th   (H) Y & L on left flank and 2nd Hampshires on right. Battalion Headquarters on HILL FARM together with H.Q of 1/4th  Y & L Regt


The day was quiet except for intermittent shelling. One incendiary shell fell on the Battalion H.Q. and HILL FARM was burnt to the ground. No lives were lost. At night “Y” Company took over forward position from Right Company of 1/4th  (H) Y & L Regt. And “Z” Company moved up in support. Total front then covered was about 500 yards


Very little enemy movement was seen, the principle incident being the shelling of front line posts by enemy field gun which had been brought up into position about 500 yards from our posts. Casualties 3 killed and 15 wounded in “W” Company by fire from this gun. The Battalion was relieved by the 3rd  Company of the 1st  battalion of the 83rd  French Infantry Regiment and withdrew to bivouacs North West of  WESTOUTRE near HOOGGRAAF


BRANHOEK - 1.40pm Battalion  proceeded by march route to TORONTO CAMP, South East of POPERINGHE , to re-organise and rest.

Sun 21st

Battalion at TORONTO CAMP - re-organising and resting - training. CAPT. W.G. HAYWOOD 19th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers joined the Battalion to take over the duties of Second in Command. 2 LT. J. MAXWELL, 6th  Bn K.O.Y.L.I joined the Battalion from the Base. The whole Battalion was inspected by the Commanding Officer.


Battalion at TORONTO CAMP - resting and training. Orders received to reconnoitre WYSCHAETE Area in view of taking part in counter-attack or attack on large scale. CAPT. G.T KIRK. LT. O.W.M. SHELTON, LT. J. RODGERS, 2 LT. C.O. ELLISON, 2 LT. G.A. TAYLOR, 2 LT. J.W. BENN, 2 LT. A.J. NUTTALL, 2 LT. S.J. YATES, 2 LT. J. APPLETON, 2 LT. F. ASHWORTH, AND 2 LT. C.A. ARTHUR AND 186 other ranks joined the Battalion from the Base Depot.


Battalion at TORONTO CAMP - training and resting.

10.30am - CAPT. W.G. HAYWOOD, LT. E.S. GUY, 2 LT. J. HODGKINSON, 2 LT. J.S. STEER, LT. J RODGERS proceeded to carry out a reconnaissance in accordance with instructions received on the 22nd inst.

11.0pm - Battalion ordered to be prepared to move at 2 hour’s notice.


Battalion at TORONTO CAMP - training and resting


5.00am - Orders received for Battalion to be prepared to move at half an hour’s notice.

8.00am - Enemy shelled  TORONTO CAMP. LT. F.E. MASSIE, HON CAPT & QMR. G.A. McNALLY wounded. 3 Other Ranks killed, 5 O.R wounded. Battalion evacuated TORONTO CAMP and encamped in adjacent fields.

1.00pm - The Battalion moved to Assembly Positions South of OUDERDOM. Enemy aeroplanes very active, bombing  & machine gunning. Battalion Headquarters at

9.00pm - Warning Order received from Brigade to the effect that “Brigade placed in 9th  Division and will probably relieve tired troops in front line to-night”.


12.30am - Orders received from Brigade that the Brigade would counter-attack with the 25th  Division on the left, and a French Division.

1.00am - The Battalion moved off from OUDERDOM to Assembly Positions.

4.25am - Battalion moved forward to BLUE LINE. Units in front held up by Machine Gun fire and fell back. The Battalion fell back to original position. Heavy Artillery fire throughout the day. Many Casualties.

3.00pm - Enemy attempted to attack by doubling forward on the left. Enemy driven back by rifle and Lewis Gun fire. 2 LT. J.S STEER wounded.


3.30 to 5.30pm - Enemy heavily bombarded our positions with large calibre shells. No Infantry attack.

6.15pm - Warning Order received that Battalion may take over positions on right held by 9th  Bn. K.O.Y.L.I.  2 LT. J.MAXWELL wounded.

Sun 28th

3.00am - Above relief complete.

7.35pm - Barrage opened, no Infantry action.


8.05am - Intense enemy barrage opened and the enemy attacked on a wide front. Attack repulsed by rifle and Lewis Gun fire; failed to reach our line at any point. Much sniping during the whole of the day.

5.20pm - Enemy crossed our front to attack on right; they were made to deploy by rifle and Lewis Gun fire from our support Company. LT. E.S. GUY wounded.

“Y” Company relieved by Australian Light Horse, who came under the tactical disposition of the Commanding Officer.”Y” Company reinforced “W” Company on the Left.


1/5th  Y& L on Left.

“W”, “Y”,“X”, and Australian Light Horse on Right

“Z” Company in Support..


Battalion relieved by 3rd  Worcesters and proceeded to Camp North of  RENINGHELST.

Casualties for the whole operations:

Officers 3 Killed, 13 Wounded.

Other Ranks Killed 64, Wounded 340, Missing 93, Died of Wounds 13.

Harold Houseman died on the 26th April 1918 from wounds received on the 24 April

( as part of the 1/4th  Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ( 49th  Inf Brigade - 49th  Division )