Every Name A Story Content

Haswell, J.C., Pte., 1918

John Cummings Haswell

John Cummings Haswell

Three Crosses Hesleden

In Etaples Military Cemetery Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 21342 Private John Cummings Haswell serving with the 8th Battlion, Durham Light Infantry who died 27/04/1918.

Mildred Tempest has submitted the following:-

John Cummings Haswell was born to Hannah and Matthew Haswell in 1897 and was known as Jack.

He was a miner working at Castle Eden colliery until the First World War, when he signed up with the Durham Light Infantry. He served in France and was wounded on the 14th April 1918 and died of his wounds on the 27th April 1918 aged 20 years.

When the war ended my Gran Hannah Haswell was informed that her son Jack was buried at Etaples cemetery north of Boulogne northern France and they had erected a wooden cross on his grave. The Salvation Army paid for my Gran to go to France to see her son's grave, while there she was informed that a proper headstone would be erected, and asked if she would like his wooden cross. She then took a small piece of wood out of the corner of the cross and put it in a matchbox to make sure it was her son's cross when she received it. When the stone headstone was erected the Salvation Army paid for my Gran to go over again to see it.

When she arrived she noticed the date of his death had been put as the 24th instead of the 27th, on notifying them they immediately sent for the stone mason to change the date, he put the 7 over the 4 which is still like that today.When the wooden cross-arrived my Gran checked the corner where she had removed the small piece of wood and it matched the piece in the matchbox.

The wooden cross was placed in St John's church Hesleden on the left side of the pulpit along with two other soldiers who were also killed in the war. My Uncle Jack's cross was the middle one of the three.

When the church was de-consecrated, I as his niece was asked what I would like to do with the crosses, I then went to the church and collected all three crosses and telephoned the DLI offices to see if they would like them for their museum, they were very pleased to accept them and would display them in their new offices or the DLI museum in Durham.

It is a very sad story about my Uncle Jack as my Mam was only 6 years old when he died and never got the chance to know her brother, his other sister, my aunt Jen told me the story of her Mam and brother. He was the last son of my Gran and Granddad and the Haswell line died the day John Cummings Haswell died.I know this is the story about my family but all over Great Britain there will be stories about other familes losing their loved ones in the war and it is so sad that a lot of men and women lost their lives to save us, it is with great gratitude we owe these people a Great Big Thank You for our free lives today.

Stan Gray had submitted the following:-

John Cummings Haswell was born at Wingate in 1897. His father Matthew died in 1916. John enlisted at West Hartlepool and joined the Durham Light Infantry. He embarked for France 9th October 1915. John died of wounds 27th April 1918. His mother added A Dear Loving Son One of the Best May God Grant Him Eternal Rest to his headstone.

Recipient of the 1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal.

John Cummings Haswell is remembered at Hesleden on H.124.01 and H124.06

He is also remembered in The DLI Book of Remembrance and in 8th Battalion History

The CWGC entry for Private Haswell

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk