Oliver Hatton


This biography was written by Victoria Doran.

Oliver was yet another young scion of the Hatton family who died very young, before his life had really started.

Cheshire cap badge.JPG

Cap badge of the Cheshire Regiment

Oliver Hatton was born in West Kirby on 8 May 1895, son of Mary Alice Hatton and an unnamed father.

His mother was a first cousin of JOHN HATTON. Before she married Peder Thomas Halvorsen in Liverpool on 19 April 1907, she had two children with unknown fathers, Clarence Lancaster Haldane Hatton born in 1893 and Oliver.

However Oliver was mainly brought up by his uncle James Stanley Hatton, railway station master at West Kirby, one of his mother’s younger brothers. In 1911 both he and brother Clarence were living with James Stanley Hatton in Elm Grove, West Kirby. Oliver was then working as an apprentice draper.

In 1901 both James Stanley Hatton and Clarence were living with widow Anne Hatton, Oliver’s grandmother, at 10 Birkett Road, West Kirby, but no trace has been found of Oliver. Possibly the census enumerator just failed to copy his details onto the final schedule. His mother was living in West Kirby with her brother Peter and family.


This letter is from Oliver’s Service Record

The statement made by his uncle that he had been responsible for him from birth seems somewhat unlikely as James Stanley Hatton was only about 18 years old at the time of Oliver’s birth. In reality, Oliver was probably initially the responsibility of his grandmother Anne. She was also living with her son James in 1911.

In 1920 James Stanley Hatton received Oliver’s medals, whilst his mother Mary Alice Pederson received a memorial scroll.

On 31 August 1914 Oliver enlisted at Birkenhead as a Private in the 12th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. He was 5ft. 4 in. tall, with a pale complexion, brown eyes and black hair, and employed as a casual labourer.

On 6 September 1915 he went with his Battalion to France from Folkestone, but 3 weeks later they were despatched from Marseilles to the Middle East, where he served in the Salonika Campaign.

During 1916 he had several bouts of illness, being hospitalised more than once. In October 1916 he had more serious problems being diagnosed with iritis and then keratitis, that is an inflammation of the eyes. On 26 Oct 1916 he was transferred to hospital on Malta, and then on 13 Dec 1916 he was returned to England on HMS Grantully Castle, a hospital ship.


from Oliver’s Service Record

In January 1917 the army was considering discharging him and obtained a reference from his last posting. He had been working in Salonika as an officer’s servant, was very sober, reliable and very intelligent.

By 11 July 1917 he had recovered and he was transferred to the 3rd Battalion, but a month later he was again transferred, this time to the 10th Battalion and sent to Rouen in France from Southampton, joining his new Battalion on 27 August.

From 2 December 1917 he was in a field hospital for an unknown reason, returning to duty on 11 December.

On 25 March 1918 he was reported missing at Ypres, and his body has never been found.

He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Oliver’s brother Clarence died in North Wales in 1941. It is not known if he served during the First World War.

Arras Memorial.jpg


Birth: 8 May 1895 at West Kirby (calculated from age on attestation)
Death: 25 Mar 1918 at Ypres, Belgium; missing presumed dead
Address: Elm Grove, West Kirby (11);
Occupation: casual labourer
Unit: ‘A’ Company 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Number and Rank: 12816; Private
Medals: 15 Star, Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: Arras Memorial, Belgium
Sources: GH, WK, CWGC, SR, MC, FT, Census: 11, BR


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