202733, Private, Ernest PICKARD
Aged 34

2nd/4th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 20th July 1918

Ernest PICKARD was born in 1883 (Leeds Q4-1883 9B:479), son of Joseph Edward and Charlotte Elizabeth PICKARD (née DUFTON). They were a Wesleyan family.

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at 79 Station Road, Attercliffe cum Darnall, Yorks with his father Joseph Edward PICKARD [43] stone mason and quarry owner, born Leeds; his mother Charlotte E [43] born Islington, London; brothers Clarence C [15] apprentice draper and Frank [9]; sisters Charlotte [18], Christiana [10], Violet [5] and Gladys [1]. All the children were born in Leeds.

1901 census...Aged 16, an ironmonger's assistant, he was at 276 Abbeyfield Road, Brightside Bierlow with his father; sister Christiana and brother Frank (banker's clerk). His mother and sister Charlotte were with his cousin Henry Dufton [33] medical practitioner/surgeon at Turnpike Road, Wetheringsett cum Brockford, nr Hartismere, Suffolk

1911 census...Aged 27, an ironmonger's assistant, he was at 57 Firshills Road, Sheffield, with his parents

The school roll of honour identifies him and his regiment. His brother Frank served in the Honourable Artillery Company and survived the war

He enlisted in Sheffield.
The battalion war diary for 20th July 1918 has:-
Bois d'Ecueil - 20th - 4am - After considerable difficulty the Bn arrived in the BOIS d'ECUEIL and relieved the Italians.
The Bn front was reconnoitred by the Commanding Officer and the 3 Coy Commanders, Capts Ellse, Smith and Kirk and the Companies were distributed on the forming up line on the NE side of the road running from the edge of the BOIS d'ECUEIL- COURMAS ROAD on the fringe of the wood. D Coy (Capt Kirk) on the right, A Coy (Capt Ellse) on the left, C Coy (Capt Smith) in support. B Coy (Lieut Tennington) had not arrived from the detraining station.
8 am - Objectives and boundaries were pointed out to the Platoon Commanders and touch was gained with 5th KOYLI on the left. Bn HQ was about 250 metres S of the B in BOIS MAITRE JEAN. Despite the trying march up and little rest the Bn jumped off in good spirits
8:10 am - The enemy barrage was pretty heavy and dropped at 8:10 am in front of the village of COURMAS. D Coy on right had considerable casualties but the advance continued steadily and supported by C Coy, the village of BOUILLY was gained. Several enemy machine guns and 20 prisoners, including an officer, were captured.
The COMMETREVIL CHATEAU was a stumbling block and remained in enemy hands. Considerable casualties were caused by enfilade machine gun fire from the BOIS de REIMS
The 5th KOYLI on the left of the Bn were held up just south of the CHATEAU WOOD and the 186th Infantry Bde did not leapfrog the 187th Bde so advance was stopped through lack of weight.
1:30 pm - The Commanding Officer inspected the Bde front and ordered a defensive flank to be formed along the COURMAS-BOUILLY ROAD with a strong point at the cross roads between BOUILLY and ONREZY. The 2nd/4th KOYLI consolidated on the left of the Battalion. Touch was gained with the 86th French Infantry at BOUILLY.
9pm - B Coy arrived and were sent up to reinforce the line.

The 2nd/4th York and Lancasters had 52 killed in that attack, 19 having no known grave.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ernest Pickard is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details