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Arthur Hesling

Date of birth: 1888
Date of death: 10.4.1917
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: York and Lancaster
Family information: Husband of Ethel Hesling nee Gosney
Rank: Private
Service number: 40098

War Service

Arthur was posted to Rugeley camp, Cannock Chase but he was absent without leave several times. He was transferred to the 9th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment on 16th December 1916 as Private 40098 and was posted to France arriving in Boulogne on 18th December.
In April 1917 the Battalion was at Rudkin House. At 8am on 9th the enemy started a “systematic” bombardment of their wire and trenches which carried on all day. At 6.30pm the bombardment increased and at 7.30pm the enemy attacked. This was eventually repulsed but left casualties numbering 12 killed and 44 wounded. As Arthur died on 10th April – when the battalion had been relieved – he was probably one of the injured who died the following day.
Arthur was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is buried in the Railway dugouts burial ground (Transport Farm) in Belgium. His widow Ethel received his personal effects – his wallet, some photos, letters and a watch and chain. She was also awarded a pension of 13/9 a week.

Family Life

Arthur was the son of Joseph Benjamin and Mary and according to the UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919 list, was born in Wrenthorpe. In his military medical records, he said he was born in Potovens, which is another name for Wrenthorpe. The census indicates that he was born in about 1888 and there was an Arthur Hesling registered in Wakefield in the January quarter of that year.
In 1891 the family were living on Charlotte Street and Arthur had two older brothers Abson (which was his mother’s maiden name) aged 6 and James aged 5. Their father was a bricklayer. Sadly, two years later in 1893 their mother Mary died and she was buried in Alverthorpe Churchyard on 23rd November. In 1899 Joseph married again, his new wife being Alice Eyre.
The family were still living in Charlotte Street in 1901 and Joseph was a bricklayer employing staff. Abson at 16 was now a stonemason.
By 1911 they had moved to 6, Morton Parade, Wakefield. James was a bricklayer, Arthur was a plasterer and Joseph and Alice had two more additions Harry aged 9 and Ethel Alice aged 7. Abson had married in 1906 so was not with the family.
Arthur married Ethel Gosney on 31st October 1914 and two years later he enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light infantry at Pontefract. At his attestation he stated his address as 10 Russell Street, Thornes Lane and his age as 28 years and 4 months. He was by now employed as a tram driver although it does have plasterer recorded as well. In his medical records it states his height as 5 feet 5 inches.

Photo of Railway Dugouts Burial Ground. Rows of headstones and plants in front of a cross memorial and trees. Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

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