9098 Company Sergeant Major Arthur Haymes.
In early September 1914 as the men of Manchester answered Lord Derby’s call and began to swell the ranks of the newly formed Pals Battalions the shortage of Officers and men to train them was a problem that needed urgently addressing.
As the Expeditionary
Force embarked for
One such Man was Arthur Haymes.
Arthur was born in
Arthur’s name does
not appear on the 1901 census and one explanation is that he was away with his
On the 20th
February 1902, Arthur’s son Arthur Francis joined the Royal Warwickshire
At some stage before
1914, the family moved to 24,
Arthur was appointed Company Sergeant Major of B Company and in the early days his experience as a seasoned veteran would have been crucial in instilling military pride and discipline in the men.
For the first 7
months, the Battalion trained in
On the 7th September 1915, the 30th Division moved to Lark Hill on Salisbury Plain to complete its training.
Whilst at Lark Hill,
Company Sergeant Major Haymes was admitted to the
Arthur’s son Arthur Junior had served with the Royal Warwickshire’s for 6 years and in 1908 transferred to the Norfolk Regiment where, in 1913 he was promoted, like his Father to Company Sergeant Major. On the outbreak of war, Arthur Junior deployed to France with the 1st Battalion the Norfolk Regiment and on the 8th September he was badly wounded and admitted to the 14th Field Ambulance with Gun shot wounds to his shoulder, arm and face and was sent to Number 3 General hospital at St Nazaire.
On the 11th December 1914, the medical officer at the base downgraded Sergeant Major Haymes and marked him for permanent base duties only. On the 22nd October 1915, Arthur was admitted to Number 12 Base Hospital at Rouen and on the 24th was evacuated to England aboard the Hospital ship Saint Andrew suffering from “Mental problems” and was discharged as “No longer physically fit for war service” on the 23rd February 1916.
Arthur had been mentioned twice in despatches on 19/10/1914 and 22/06/1915.
The nature of
Arthur’s illness will never be known but it was severe enough for him to be
admitted to the Eglington Asylum in
Arthur’s body was returned to Blackburn where, on the 22nd December he was buried with his father.
Many thanks to Kingo for writing this article, John Martin for the photo and cemetery research, tisgrannies and wendi for the
census searches and mack for additional info and his service record