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Name: Arthur Wellsley Hatfield Rank: Lance Sergeant Service No: 67302 Regiment: 25th Battalion Date of Birth: November 7, 1896 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, N.S Place of Enlistment: Halifax, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: November 15, 1914 Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 6 Feet 1 1/2 Inches Eye Colour: Blue/Gray Hair Colour: Light Chest: 37 Inches Expansion: 3 1/2 Inches Prior Military Experience: Trained at school as a Cadet Marital Status: Single Trade: Bank Clerk (Royal Bank of Canada, Yarmouth NS) Religion: Presbyterian Next of Kin: Abram M. Hatfield (Father) Sand Beach, Yarmouth NS Date of Death: November 3, 1915 Age: 18 Cemetery: La Laiterie Military Cemetery Grave Reference: III. A. 13. Commemorated on Page 18 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on January 22 Arthur was the son of Son of Abram M. (1868 - 1952) and Annie E. (Baker) Hatfield (1866 - 1948), of Sand Beach, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He was the only surviving son at the outbreak of World War I, an older brother, Charles having drowned at sea in 1910. He was a brother to Margaret G Hatfield, Elsie P Hatfield, and Bessie K Hatfield. Arthur left his employment as a Bank Clerk at the Royal Bank of Canada, Yarmouth NS to join the 25th Battalion on November 15, 1914. His best friend and second cousin, Charles Sydney Frost, was employed at the Bank of Nova Scotia, also in Yarmouth, and had transferred to the St. John’s, Newfoundland Branch where he joined the Newfoundland Contingent. Arthur departed Halifax, May 20, 1915 on the SS Saxonia. Thousands were there to see the 25th Battalion, as it marched through the city and boarded the ship. The 22nd French Canadian Battalion arrived from at 3.00 pm and were embarked about 5 pm. The Saxonia sailed shortly after with a total of 2,274 officers and men. The crossing lasted nine days. On Saturday, May 22nd, two large icebergs were sighted and on Sunday, May 23rd the men attended Church services. On Monday, the 24th, the ship arrived in range of submarines and allotment of rafts and boats were made. Life belt and boat drills were held daily as were deck sports. On Thursday, May 27th, all ranks were ordered to sleep with clothing on and officers were ordered to carry loaded revolvers and have life belts ready to wear. On Friday, the 28th, three torpedo boat destroyers was visible on horizon and escorted the Saxonia into Plymouth on Saturday were the ship dropped anchor at 4.10 am and arrived at dock at Davenport at 8: 30 am. The Battalion moved via Westenhanger to the Camp at East Sandling near Folkestone, Kent. Between May 31 and September 15, 1915 advanced training was undertaken. On July 1, 1915 Arthur was appointed and confirmed in the rank of Lance Sergeant. He was assigned to “D” Company 25th Battalion. Arthur, on leave, had prearranged to meet with Sydney Frost who was also on leave at Paul’s Churchyard in London on August 16, 1915. The two friends then travelled to the home of Arthur’s uncles, John Hatfield, on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth. It would be the last time the two friends would meet and Sydney Frost would be shocked when he received the news of Arthur’s death in a letter, February 2, 1916. Ammunition was issued to each man (120 Rounds) on Wednesday, September 15, 1915, and the Battalion left Camp at 6.30 pm arriving at Folkstone at 9:00 pm, leaving Folkstone at 10:00 pm and arriving in Boulogne, France at 1:00 am September 16, 1915. The 25th Battalion took over the trenches from the 2nd Kings Own on the evening of the September 22. The 25th Battalion relieved the 24th Battalion in Flanders, Belgium in wet rainy weather on Thursday, October 28, 1915. Friday was spent repairing damage done by the rain amidst enemy shelling. On the following day heavy artillery bombarded the trenches and this continued until November 2. However, enemy snipers activity continued. Seven men of the Battalion, were wounded between October 28 and November 2. While on duty in the trenches at Kemmel on the afternoon of November 3, 1915 Arthur was hit in the head by a bullet from an enemy rifle. He received first aid and was taken to a dressing station but died two hours later.
Arthur Wellsley Hatfield
Arthur Hatfield on Hayling Island - (August 1915)
Hatfield Gravestone, Mountain Cemetery, Yarmouth, NS Photo: Wartime Heritage