Alexander Baird TYSON
Rank: Captain
Date of Death: 23 April 1917
Age: 21
Cemetery: Heninel-Croisilles Road Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Alexander Tyson's father was the Rev. H Tyson, vicar of Cheadle Hulme (All Saints Church). Later, his mother, Mrs E S Tyson, lived at 14A Holland Villas Road, Kensington, London. He had been educated at Aldenham School, where he was a member of the Officers Training Corps. Early in 1914, he had represented the school at a public schools boxing tournament at Aldershot.

He had been intending to go to Magdalen College, Oxford in October 1914, but went straight into the army, being commissioned into the Argylls on 15 August 1914.

He was promoted to acting Captain, in charge of "B" company, with effect from 11 February 1917. The Battle of Arras had started in early April 1917. By the 23rd, the next phase, which would become known as the Second Battle of the Scarpe (after the river), was scheduled to start. Alexander's Battalion, was ordered to attack the enemy's trenches in the Hindenberg Line on high ground overlooking the village of Fontaine Les Croiselles, some 15 kilometres south east of Arras.

As dawn was breaking, just before 5am, Alexander led his men out of the trenches and on towards the enemy. "B" Company took the front line trench. Following just behind a creeping British artillery barrage, they pressed on towards their final objective over the crest of the hill overlooking Fontaine. At this point, they became bogged down by enemy artillery fire. Reinforcements were sent but to no avail and the Argylls had to take up a defensive position to repel a determined counter attack at 10am. Throughout the day, attempts were made to advance all along the battlefront, but without success. The enemy continued to press hard and by 7.30 the following morning, the Argylls had to be withdrawn back to their own lines. The attack had been a failure and had cost the lives of 90 members of the Battalion.

It was reported that Captain Tyson had been killed leading his men in the initial charge to the enemy trench. The cemetery where he is buried look uphill towards the crest of the small ridge which was the Argylls' objective. His headstone is inscribed "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you".

Alexander Tyson had two other brothers serving with the Argylls. Both seem to have survived. His oldest brother, Captain J D Tyson, had been a prisoner of war.

In August 1919, a stained glass window in the parish church was dedicated to him. On 29 May 1921, Alexander's father conducted the dedication ceremony of the Cheadle Hulme War Memorial

(NB: Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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