Acting Bombardier 99725 Arthur Haddon

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Killed in Action on Thursday, 29th November 1917, age 38.
Buried in Grave III. N. 2. at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Royal Garrison Artillery, 265th Siege Battery.

Son of Henry and Ellen Haddon; husband of Mary Ellen Haddon, of 346, Dudley Rd., Tividale, Tipton, Staffs. Born at Dudley.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 27th February 1917.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the St. Augustine's Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/96268/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Arthur Haddon registered December quarter 1879 in Dudley.

1891 Census
27 Bond Street, Dudley, Worcs.
Henry Haddon (42, Grocer's Warehouseman, born Barby, Nothants), his wife Ellen (42, Haberdashery Mistress, born Dudley), and their 5 children: Elizabeth (18, born Dudley), Arthur (11, Scholar, born Dudley), Maud (8, Scholar, born Dudley), William (6, Scholar, born Dudley), and Frederick (4, born Dudley).

1901 Census
Arthur's parents, Henry and Ellen Haddon, were living at 6 Bradley Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, with their 3 children: Maud, William and Frederick. Arthur was not living with them, and no trace can be found of him.

Arthur Haddon married Mary Ellen Bennett in Tipton on 26th December 1910. Their only child, Frederick George Haddon, was born on 16th October 1911.

1911 Census
287 Dudley Road, Tividale, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Edwin and Ellen Bennett and their son-in-law and daughter:
Arthur Haddon (31, Salesman, born Dudley), and his wife Mary Ellen (28, born Tividale).

Personal Data

Arthur attested on 12th December 1915 at Dudley under the Derby Scheme, and was posted to the Reserves. He was called up for service on 23rd June 1916, and joined No. 4 Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). At the time attestation he was 36 years and 2 months old, 5ft 11½ inches tall with a 41-inch chest. He was employed as a Bradford (Insurance) Agent, and was living at 346 Dudley Road, Tividale. He was a member of the Congregational Chapel. He had been a Special Constable before the war, his card and badge were amongst his effects sent home in May 1918.

During his training at Hepswell Camp, Catterick in November 1916, Arthur was graded 1st Class in Signalling and Telephony. He arrived in France 27th February 1917, joining the 265th Siege Battery, RGA initially as a first-class telegraphist. He was appointed Acting Bombardier on 21st September 1917.

Major Hall wrote to Mary Haddon saying that Arthur had been killed by a shell on 29th November 1917. As the Siege Batteries were some distance behind the lines, this would have been German counter-battery fire trying to destroy the British 'heavies' to prevent the destruction they themselves delivered. Arthur is buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery, less than a mile from the Menin Gate. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour of Tividale Ward with address of parents 34 Dudley Rd.

Arthur's widow Mary was awarded a pension of 20 shillings and 5 pence for herself and their one child, effective from 17th June 1918. She had previously been in receipt of a Separation Allowance of 19 shillings and 6 pence per week.

After Arthur's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/11/8d (8 pounds, 11 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow, Mary E., in May 1918. His War Gratuity was £6/0/0d (6 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Mary E. in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Arthur had enlisted in June 1916.

Action resulting in his death

The 265th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery was equipped with the 9.2 inch howitzers, capable of despatching a monstrous 290 pound shell over nine miles. They had been serving in the Ypres Salient as part of 22nd Brigade of the RGA, and had been heavily involved in the Third Battle of Ypres during July-November 1917.

By 29th November, the 3rd Battle of Ypres had drawn to a close, but the artillery of the two sides continued with their duel. Arthur Haddon was killed by a German shell whilst on duty, and is buried in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald December 15th 1917
Another Hero of the Great Cause.
The already long roll of heroes from Tividale has been increased by the death of Bombardier Arthur Haddon, who was well-known and much respected. He resided at Myrtle Villas, Dudley Road, Tividale, and was killed in action in France (Editor: actually Belgium) on November 29th, last. His widow and family have been the recipients of numerous letters and messages of sympathy. He joined the colours in June 1916, and after seven months training, during which he passed several exams in signalling and telegraphy, he was initially sent to France as a first-class telegraphist. In a recent letter to his wife he said he had gained a stripe for service in the field and that his name was on a list for leave. And in another received two days after he was killed he wrote:- "Do not be surprised to see me home any day, as we are getting well down the list, and it should not be long before it comes to my turn, how nice it would be if it happened at Christmas." Sincere sympathy is felt for his wife and little son in the sad loss they have sustained.
Major Hall, writing to Mrs Haddon, says:- "Dear Madam, It is with the very deepest regret that I have to inform you that your husband's name must now be added to the great Roll of Honour. He was killed whilst on duty by a shell. It is difficult to tender words that will mitigate the sorrow."

Tipton Herald November 30 1918
Haddon.- Bombardier Arthur Haddon, killed in action November 28th 1917. Deeply mourned by his wife and son Freddy.

Dudley Herald November 30 1918
HADDON.- In loving memory of Bombardier Arthur Haddon, killed in action November 28th 1917. Deeply mourned by his wife and son Freddy.
HADDON.- In loving memory of Bombardier Arthur Haddon, killed in action November 28th 1917. Also his brother Will, who passed away October 9th 1918.
In life dearly loved, in death deeply mourned by mother, sister, and brother (New Zealand).