Arthur Thomas Buswell, paternal relative: Passchendaele November 1917

Arthur Thomas Buswell was born during October 1890 in Hinkley, Leicestershire and Killed in action at Dickebusch near Ypres during the Second Battle of Passchendael on the 11th November 1917.

Arthur was related to me and was a second cousin once removed of the (second) wife of my paternal grandfather, the actual lineage being:

  • Arthur Thomas Buswell (1890 - 1917) - 2nd cousin 1x removed of wife of paternal grandfather
  • Isaac Buswell (1856 - ) - father of Arthur Thomas Buswell
  • Caroline Bassford (1820 - 1875) - mother of Isaac Buswell
  • Timothy Bassford (1771 - 1845) - father of Caroline Bassford
  • Isaac Bassford (1802 - 1870) - son of Timothy Bassford
  • Stephen Bassford (1828 - 1863) - son of Isaac Bassford
  • Isaac Henry Bassford (1847 - 1893) - son of Stephen Bassford
  • Florence May Bassford (1883 - ) - daughter of Isaac Henry Bassford - my paternal grandfather's second wife
  • Ephraim William Hyde (1887 - 1964) - husband of Florence May Bassford - my paternal grandfather
  • Gilbert Wilfred Hyde (1916 - 2006) - son of Ephraim William Hyde - my father
  • William G Hyde - me

His Family

Arthur's father, Isaac Buswell was born in June 1856 in Hinkley, Leicestershire and was a Music Teacher. Isaac married Amanda Cooper (1860 - 1943) during October 1881. Amanda was at time of her marriage a Needlewoman.

Issac & Amanda set up home at 37 Derby Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire and raised a family of 3 children:

  • Ethel May Buswell (1886 – )
  • Edmond John Buswell (1887 – )
  • Arthur Thomas Buswell (1890 – 1917)

Arthur Thomas married Mabel Clara Shuttlewood (1891 – 1981) during July 1915 just before he left to go to war. He & Mabel set up home at 55 Mount Rd, Hinckley, Leicestershire and Arthur was a Managing Clerk. They did not have any children.

His Regiment

siegebatteryArthur Thomas enlisted during December 1915 in The Royal Regiment of Artillery and was allocated Regimental number 74973.

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, is generally known as the Royal Artillery and is nicknamed the Gunners. Despite its name, it is made up of sixteen regiments, however by World War One it had expanded greatly to include Territorial Batteries & Sections attached to the Australian, Canadian and South African Army groups.

By 1917 Arthur was a Gunner with the 160th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery and located close to an area called The Huts. The huts, originally built by the Labour Corps the previous winter were strung along the road from Dickebusch (now Dikkebus) to Brandhoek, which were used by field ambulances during the 1917 Allied offensive on Ypres front. With typical effiency the British Army had co-located the Labour Corps, Field Ambulance Dressing Stations and The Royal Artillary at The Huts.

The role of the Siege Battery
Siege Batteries RGA were equipped with heavy howitzers, sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire.The usual armaments were 6 inch, 8 inch and 9.2 inch howitzers, although some had huge railway- or road-mounted 12 inch howitzers. As British artillery tactics developed, the Siege Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines.

On Sunday 11 Novemer 1917 there was heavy rain and the 160th Siege Battery were pounding enemy positions when there was heavy incoming enemy artillery and one shell destroyed the gun manned by Arthur, who was immediately Killed in action. He was just 26 years of age.

Cemetery

arthur-t-buswell-hutsArthur Thomas Buswell has a grave in The Huts Cemetery, which is located south-west of Ypres town centre, Belgium.

Plots I to X and XII to XIV were filled between July and November 1917. Plots XV and XI followed. Nearly two-thirds of the burials are of gunners as many artillery positions existed nearby.

The cemetery was closed in April 1918 when the German advance (the Battle of the Lys) brought the front line very close. The advance was finally halted on the eastern side of the village, following fierce fighting at Dickebusch Lake, on 8 May.

There are now 1,094 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.