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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Alexander Haslam
Person Details
Carrington, Notts
William Alexander Haslam was born in 1897 in Carrington, Notts. He was the second son of John Alexander Haslam and Emma, nee Gent, who, in 1901 were resident in Urban Road, Carlton Notts. The couple had two more children to make up their family, Samuel Frederick, 1895 and Eva Jane in 1905. Shortly after this date, the family (minus Samuel who later, in 1923, married Hilda Hartland in Worksop), were living in Worksop at 4 Cheapside, John working as a baker and son William as a 14 year old working for a pork butcher. It was William, that a few years later, enlisted in the RFA at Nottingham.
06 Aug 1916
19
53382 - CWGC Website
46898
Gunner
Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Gunner William Haslam Worksop Guardian 18 August 1916 The sympathy of the townspeople is extended to Mr and Mrs Haslam, 7 Cemetery Road, and Abbey Cross, in the bereavement which has befallen them by the death in action of their gallant son Gunner William Haslam, RFA, aged 19 years. Mr Haslam is the caretaker of the Priory Gatehouse, and is respected by all who know him. There were few lads liked better in the town than young Haslam. “Billy,” as his associates knew him, and the news that he had fallen in the fight was received with great regret. Prior to enlisting in the Royal Field Artillery in October 1915, he was under the employ of Mr F Hewitt, butcher and later on in the employ of Messrs Nelson’s Ltd. He was a smart, well conducted lad and was as popular in his Battery as he was amongst his friends at home. He is another of the brave and gallant boys of Worksop, who have laid down their lives that we might continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty and civilisation. Writing to his mother, his Commanding Officer, Captain W S Wingate Gray says:- “Dear Mrs Haslam, I am very sorry to have to tell you about you son’s death in action yesterday, and I wish I were able to make the loss of your dear boy easier to bear. He was a fine young fellow and an excellent gunner and in him, the Battery and everyone, lost a gallant comrade, and speaking from personal experience, I was very proud to have such a good fellow, as he was, in any Battery of mine, and it makes me proud to command such men. We were shelled here yesterday and I was quite close to your son when he was hit by a very unfortunate splinter of a shell – he was half under cover at the time – which hit him in the neck, and he died in my hands, about an hour and a half later. I am glad to say he suffered no pain as he was not conscious. One of the Chaplains was here at the time and I think he is also writing to you. He is buried in a French cemetery quite close to here and I am having a cross made and placed on his grave. I shall send all his belongings in a day or two. It seems very hard that Gunner Haslam should be the first casualty in the Battery. The Battery officers, NCO’s and men, all join with me in expressing their sorrow at your son’s death and admiration of his conduct. Please do not trouble to answer this letter, as I realise how many letters you must have to answer and so much to think about at this time. Yours sincerely, W S Wingate Gray, Captain commanding A-188, RFA.” Some further particulars are contained in a letter from the Rev. M M Viischer, 12th Suffolks, who writes under date August 7th:- “Dear Mrs Haslam, I am very sorry to inform you that your son was killed in action yesterday morning. He was present at the service I held yesterday morning and was hit by a shell shortly afterwards. His Battery commander and myself attended to his wounds but he died within an hour of him being hit. His Captain did all that is humanly possible for him, and I had some prayers with him before he passed peacefully away. Last night I buried him in a beautiful military cemetery in France and I will make arrangements that you will get a photograph of his grave. May God give you His Divine Comfort and Help in your great bereavement Your’s sincerely M M Vischer, C.F.” Young Haslam was the first member of the Priory Gatehouse Club to fall.
CWG additional information:- Son of John Alexander and Emma Haslam, of 4, Cheapside, Worksop. Buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Alexander Haslam
    William Alexander Haslam - This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Alexander Haslam
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France.
Courtesy Murray Biddle
    William Alexander Haslam - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Courtesy Murray Biddle