Private 11897 Benjamin Hasdell

Hasdell Benjamin family 96
Sarah, baby Annie and Benjamin Hasdell. Photograph courtesy Annie's daughter, Anne Lloyd, and her cousin, Brenda Ferris.

Hasdell Benjamin 96 310x600Hasdell Benjamin family plaque combo
Photograph of home-made commemorative plaque courtesy of Mrs Carole Bowater.

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 9th July 1916, age 21.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 7 B of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Son of George and Catherine Hasdell, of 61, Coppice St., Tipton; husband of the late Sarah Hasdell, of 45, Coppice St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 24th September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/790268/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
Court 2 House 4, Coppice Street, Tipton, Staffs.
George Hasdell (42, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Catherine (40, born Tipton), and their 9 children: Thomas (21, Coal Miner, born Tipton), Martha (15, Domestic Servant, born Tipton), George (13, born Tipton), Arthur (11, born Tipton), Kate (9, born Tipton), Mary (7, born Tipton), Benjamin (5, born Tipton), William (3, born Tipton), Albert (2, born Tipton), and Phoebe (2 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
Court 2 House 4, Coppice Street, Tipton, Staffs.
George Hasdell (51, Navvy, born Northampton), his wife Catherine (50, born Tipton), and 6 of their 13 children: Martha (26, born Tipton), Ben (15, Errand Boy, born Tipton), Willie (14, Errand Boy, born Tipton), Albert (11, School, born Tipton), Phoebe (10, School, born Tipton), and Daisy (7, School, born Tipton).

Benjamin Hasdell and Sarah Sheldon married on 16th December 1914, the marriage was registered in Dudley. On 2nd February 1915, their daughter Annie was born. Sarah died in December quarter 1922.

Personal Data

Cousin of Thomas Hasdell, who was killed just 3 weeks after Benjamin.

After Benjamin's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/14/4d (2 pounds, 14 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his widow and legatee, Sarah, in October 1916. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Sarah in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Benjamin had enlisted in approximately September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

Benjamin Hasdell died of wounds on 9th July 1916, there had been one man from the 9th South Staffs killed on the 5th, 6th and 7th July, so there is no clue as to the day Benjamin may have been wounded.

On July 7th the Battalion was at Contalmaison. Besides improving lines of communication and finding carrying parties, it had the unpleasant task of burying the dead of both sides. On 8th July the War Diary notes that the 9th South Staffs were clearing the battlefield. Although too late for Benjamin Hasdell, between 11th and 16th July 1916 they buried 1,500 men.

Benjamin has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th August 1916
Sapper Thomas Hasdell of High Street, and Private Benjamin Hasdell of Coppice Street have both been killed in action. Their photos will be in next week's issue.

Tipton Herald 2nd September 1916
The official news has been received of the death of Private Benjamin Hasdell, aged 21, of 54 Coppice Street, who was killed in action. He was married on December 16th 1914, a few months after joining H.M. Forces, and he leaves a young widow and child. He was a bricklayer, working for Mr Crofts, and a few days after the outbreak of war - on September 1st 1914 to be exact - he answered promptly and unhesitatingly to the call to the young men of the Empire. To him has been given a good breathing spell, but like most of those who early showed their patriotism, he has been struck down. He was attached to the 9th South Staffords, and went to France in September 1915. In April last, he was home on furlough. His father, Mr George Hasdell, resides at 61 Coppice Street.
The widow received the following kind letter from Lieutenant Phillips:- "Dear Mrs Hasdell, It is with deep regret that I have to write to you of the death of your husband, Benjamin Hasdell, who was killed by shrapnel shell. All the platoon and myself share your grief, as we found him a hard worker and good comrade, and his loss will be felt very deeply. It may console you to know that he died in the Great Advance, and we are all proud of him. He died doing his duty. Please accept, dear Mrs Hasdell, my deepest sympathy."