1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Sgt 22397 Charles Hatch
- Age: 31
- From: Southport, Lancs
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
- K.I.A Thursday 2nd August 1917
- Commemorated at: Menin Gate Memorial
Panel Ref: Panel 4 & 6
Charles was born in Southport the son of Thomas Stanton and Elizabeth Hatch
He enlisted in Liverpool on 05th November 1914 joining the 20th Battalion as Private 22397. He was wounded on 30/07/1916 at Guillemont and in a letter he wrote home to his sister he gave some detail about the events of the catastophic attack:
“No doubt you will have received by now my p.c. just to tell you that I have been slightly wounded. Well there is no need to worry. I shall soon be alright again. I got in the way of a bit of shrapnel as we were going over yesterday morning; rather a poor finishing to a very busy month. It caught me on the back in two places, made things very stiff and sore, but nothing very serious. At the time the shell burst behind me, and as luck would have it, I had strapped my entrenching tool on the back of my belt, instead of the side, and the piece cut through the leather of the case before I stopped, it bowled me over, and covered me with dirt; but I managed to get back to our lines, helping two or three of the boys along that were worse than me. Our boys caught it pretty hot going over. It was very foggy, so what with that and the smoke from the shells, we were soon all loosing direction. I have not yet heard whether we won through, but took a good number of prisoners. I helped to march some of them down; our slightly wounded men can bring a batch of Germans along, they are only too delighted to be taken prisoners.
We also made them help with the stretchers, as they usually have to pass the dressing station. I am only sorry that I was knocked over before being able to get any of the beggars :feels like a waste of energy carrying those bombs and ammunition and not being able to use it. “
It seems that he was underplaying the extent of his injuries to his sister as he was at home for months and only returned to overseas duty in April 1917. He had attained the rank of Serjeant when he was killed in action on 02-08-1917 aged 31 during the 3rd Battle of Ypres more commonly known as Passchendaele. His body was not recovered and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium.
Following his death the Southport Visitor reported on 12/08/1917
Sergeant Hatch who was 31 years of age, was the son of Mr. & Mrs. T. S. Hatch 20 St. Pauls Street Southport.
Previous to enlisting he was employed as a clerk and book-keeper with Messrs. Fairbridge and Hatch, builders and contractors, of Birkdale, of which firm his father was a partner. He was a all-round athlete, and in pre war days played for St Paul’s and Y. M. C. A Football clubs. He was educated at Christ Church Higher Grade School.
Sergeant Hatch enlisted in the Liverpool Pals on 5th November 1914, and after training, went out to France on 16th November 1915 and was promoted to Corporal. He was wounded in France on July 30th 1916. After being drafted back to hospital in England he was later discharged from there on September 29th 1916,and re-joined his Battalion at Pembroke, and resumed his military duties. On April 20th 1917 he was again sent out to France, where he had been up until his death. He was promoted to full Sergeant in June 1917.
Following his death on the afternoon of 2nd August 1917 a letter was received from one of his fellow sergeants which also featured in the Southport Visitor:
“It maybe consoling for you to know that death was instantaneous, for a fragment of shell penetrated his brain from the right temple. We buried him in a soldiers grave just behind the spot where he fell, and his grave is surmounted by a small wooden cross with a simple inscription. We
had to bury him at night time owing to the dangerous nature of the spot. I would now, on behalf of his fellow N. C. O’S and men, like to pay a tribute to his memory. He was loved and liked by all, for he was always of the most cheery disposition and ever ready with a hearty word in the most trying circumstances, and his loss to us is great indeed, but we must rest content, knowing that he did his duty nobly and died a hero’s death fighting for King and Country".
Charles is commeorated on the family headstone at Duke Street Cemetery in Southport and on the Southport Civic Memorial.
Killed On This Day.(102 Years this day)
Saturday 10th August 1918.
Lance Corporal 30546 Charles Harold Fairclough
33 years old