ARTHUR HASSALL 

Rank: Private
Service Number: 2997.
Regiment: 1/7th Bn. Cheshire Regiment Killed In Action Monday 9th August 1915 Age 22County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried HELLES MEMORIAL
Grave\Panel Ref: Panel 75 to 77.
Turkey

Son of Mr. William Hassall and Mrs. Louisa Hassall, of Welles Street, Sandbach, Cheshire, 14, Wagg's Road, Congleton, Cheshire. and 5, Paradise Row, Daneside, Congleton, Cheshire. In 1911, he resided with a Mr. Ambrose Turner, and his wife Frances, at Brick House Farm, Hulme Walfield, Congleton, Cheshire, where he was employed as a Waggoner on the Farm. He had six sisters, Emily, Ada, Annie, Minnie, Frances M, and Beatrice Hassall, along with two brothers, John William and Arnold Hassall. John William Hassall was killed in action on the 13th of June 1917.

Private Arthur Hassall enlisted in the 1/7th Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment in August 1914, they were part of the Cheshire Brigade (Welsh Division). They moved immediately on mobilization to Shrewsbury and Church Stretton but by the end of August 1914 had moved to Northampton. In December they moved again to Cambridge and by March 1915 they were at Bedford. On the 15th of May 1915 they were attached to the 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh Division).

On the 2nd July 1915, orders arrived to re-equip for service in the Mediterranean and on the 14th they from Devonport to Alexandria and made a landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on the 9th August 1915. The Regimental history states:

After landing the troops did not know where they were until a case of maps were found and disclosed they were at Suvla Bay, the military situation at this juncture beggars description, two Divisions had landed earlier and had been severely mauled by the enemy and poorly directed. Commanders, Staff Officers and men, all showed signs of having reached the limits of endurance, they realised the conditions in which they had to go into battle. They had no ammunition, except what they carried, no transport, no artillery. It seemed incredible. Captain Arthur Crookenden of the regiment went up the hill to see the state of affairs. He saw the Salt Lake covered with wounded men coming back to the beach. He told the G.O.C., that the Brigade could capture the distant objective if an hours law was granted for a talk with his officers with map and compass on the top of Lala Baba. But no! Hurry was the order of the day. He objected, and was threatened with arrest, and was given a verbal order to send two Battalions "to report to General ??? in the bush, he refused the order, and the G.S.O. himself to it to General Cowans. However, the 7th Battalion at length received orders to advance against a distant point when the only obvious fact was that it was strongly held and had already held up the rest of the troops in that neighbourhood. Night fell with three Battalions of the Brigade " lost". The order by which the Brigade was placed under the 11th Division on this day must be recorded". The 53rd Division is placed under 11th Division and can be used in such way that is possible to re assemble them in the evening" Comment is needless. The Brigade Major spent the night trying to find his missing Battalions, and only succeeding in finding part of the 7th Battalion. On reaching Brigade H.Q. about 03 00 hours on the 10th August, he found an order had arrived for an attack at 06:00 hours which involved leap-frogging by a Brigade which had last been seen in Bedford. It was pitch dark, they had no transport of any sort, no arrangements for ammunition supply, no medical arrangements except the doctor's haversacks, no tools, no food, no water, nothing but what they stood up in, and a few boxes of ammunition carried by the men. There was no artillery. At 06:00 hours, portions of the 7th Battalion, followed by the 4th Welsh, advanced a few hundred yards, until they reached a trench full of various Brigades and Corps. Here all halted, and nothing would make them face the steady stream of bullets which swept over their heads. A machine gun in Sulajik Farm fired uselessly in the general direction of the Turks, but otherwise the troops seemed dazed and at the end of their tether, as indeed most were. During the afternoon an order from the beach directed a general advance at 17:00 hours, it was obeyed by a few brave men of the 159th Brigade led by their Commander, General Cowans, but these were soon killed, or wounded and left to perish in the bush, which was by now burning fiercely. The survivors reached a bank some 200 yards ahead, from which they were driven by a counter attack, while the men in the packed trenches looked on. Water was short but available. There were wells in many places but all were under fire and needed earthworks to protect the users. But the 53 rd Division had no tools, and it is likely that the other Divisions had none neither. The whole action was a nightmare of indecision starting at the top and spreading its evil effects through all ranks. The opposition was not negligible, but even without artillery support it was within the capacity of a combined effort by well led troops to overcome. The 7th Battalion lost 9 Officers wounded, 2 missing, 18 men killed, 145 wounded and 286 missing. Amongst those killed were Private Arthur Hassall and Private John Etchells on the 9th of August, Private Thomas Ridgway who died of wounds and Private Joseph Taylor on the 10th and Sergeant George Arthur Gallimore and Private Herbert Whalley on the 13th of August.

Extract from the Congleton Chronicle 1916.

Private Arthur Hassall of the 1/7th Battalion the Cheshire Regiment, whose death is still shrouded in mystery, although the Army Council, after many months, have been constrained to conclude that he is dead.

Private Hassall answered the call, long before the inception of the Group System and went out to the Dardanelles with the 1/7th Cheshire Regiment, taking part in the memorable landing at Suvla Bay and up to the 9th of August 1915 had been posted as missing. Mr. and Mrs. Hassall who reside in Paradise Row, Congleton have received the following notification from the War Office,

It is our painful duty to inform you that no further news having been received relative to 2997. Private Arthur Hassall of the 1/7th Battalion the Cheshire Regiment who has been missing since the 9th of August 1915, the Army Council have been regretfully constrained to conclude that he is dead and that his death took place on the 9th of August 1915. I am to express to you the sympathy of the Army Council with you in your loss.

Private Hassall was a young man of engaging personality and had made many friends among the rank and file. He was unmarried and it is a painful circumstance that his father Mr. William Hassall who has suffered for many years, had only partially recovered from a trying illness when the official notification of his son's death arrived.



Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for this information on Arthur