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TROOPER A J HAILSTONE 1ST ALH

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BOBANCRE View Drop Down
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Joined: 13 Feb 2013
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    Posted: 09 Jan 2016 at 16:57
Trooper Arthur John HAILSTONE (641) 1st. Australian Light Horse, Australian Imperial Forces, killed in action 7th. June 1915, aged 22. Buried in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey, Plot 4 Row D Grave 17.
Arthur Hailstone was born in London in July 1882 and was the second son of Mr. A J Hailstone of Ivy Cottage South Road. On leaving school he had emigrated to Australia where he worked as a station-hand until war broke out when he immediately answered his Mother country’s call and enlisted on September 8th. 1914. His records describe him as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 10 stone 7 pounds with yellowish-brown hair, blue eyes and of a florid complexion. He became a private in the 1st. Australian Light Horse (the regiment immortalised in Peter Weir’s epic film, “ Gallipoli.”) and on December 20th. 1914 embarked from Sydney on H.M.A.T A 42 for the Dardanelles, joining his regiment on 15th. February 1915.
On 20th. May 1915 Arthur was wounded in the left arm, and was in convalescence for a while until he returned to his battalion judged fit for light duties. On Monday 7th. June 1915 he was shot and died immediately.
The time schedule of his father receiving the news highlights the tragedy. He did not hear of his son’s initial wound until a fortnight after he was already dead, and the news of his death not until the end of July ! This news followed a letter from Arthur written three days before his death when he confided, “ A dummy attack was made by the Turks and directly we put our heads above the parapet to fire, they turned a machine-gun on us. ” These words were tragically prophetic for in another letter from one of Arthur’s chums to his father he says, “ He was the whitest man I ever met... hit in the temple by a shot from a machine-gun... he was always more daring than the rest, he stayed above a trench too long...his grave has a small cross.”
Today Arthur lies in one of the most beautiful of the peninsula’ s cemeteries with 526 of his adopted countrymen. The gully obtained its name from the heavy shelling of it by the Turks in April 1915, because it was an essential road from the beach up to Lone Pine. Wells were sunk and water obtained from it in small quantities, and in its lower reaches were camps, depots and gun positions. It is no wonder the Turks called Shrapnel Valley, Korku Dere - the Valley of Fear.    
A sad, but typical postscript to this story is that Arthur’s father received his son’s worldly effects - a purse, coins, two knives and a silver watch and chain, all in one brown paper parcel and in 1920 was forced to write a letter “..and since I sacrificed a good deal for his education, I would be glad, if there is any gratuity in his case, to have it. I would not have mentioned the latter were it not for the hard times we are enduring here and the difficulties of making ends meet.”
ROBERT PIKE
The Victor Heroes.Saffron Walden in the Great War

For Still We Hear Them Singing - Poems; ISBN-10: 1781489106 - ISBN-13: 978-1781489109

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