Arthur Haskins 1886 – 1918

This Biography was written by Stephen Roberts and appears by Permission of Julie Hazler for whom it was originally written.

Arthur Haskins belonged to a well-known Hoylake business family who originated in the south of England. He served in a London regiment and was killed at the relatively advanced age of 32 during the first day of the Battle of the Aisne on 27 May 1918. Arthur’s service records have not survived, so this biography has been constructed using a variety of other primary and secondary sources which will be explained as we come across them.


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William Denys Samuelson 1896-1917


This post was written by Stephen Roberts

William Denys Samuelson was a middle-class young man residing in Hoylake at the time of the Great War, who, as the descendant of a prosperous Liverpool business family, is typical of many of the people recorded on the Grange Hill War Memorial. As far as I am aware, however, he is our first soldier with known Jewish heritage – a fact which is further evidence of the diversity of Merseyside’s population at that time. 

The Samuelson family has an interesting history: William’s oldest known paternal ancestor was Hyman or Henry Samuelson (1764-1813), his great great grandfather, who began life in London and finished up in Jamaica. Hyman was almost certainly a wealthy merchant, as most of his descendants were similarly employed. His son, Samuel Henry (1794-1863) was born in the USA and died in Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire. Samuel’s son, James (1829-1918) was the first member of the family to live in Hoylake. He was there by 1901, having previously lived in Hull and Sculcoates in Yorkshire, Shaw and Everton in Lancashire and Claughton in Wirral. By 1911, he was boarding at number 13 Airlie Road in Hoylake. His son was William Newton Samuelson (1858-1940), who was born in Liverpool, died in Caldy and was the father of William Denys Samuelson, our soldier and Great War casualty. The family’s most famous member was William Senior’s brother (our soldier’s uncle) Sir Bernard Samuelson Bart. P.C F.R.S. (1820-1905), Liberal M.P. for Banbury in 1859 and between 1865 and 1895.

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Edmund Evans

EDMUND EVANS      written by Linda Trim

Eighteen year old West Kirby lad dies in Flaubert, France within nine months of enlistment.

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Edmund Evans photograph

Edmund was the second of five children born to Abraham Evans (1866-1916) and Elizabeth Evans nee Box (1867-????). Elsie Victoria was born in 1897, Edmund in 1899, James Abraham in 1902, Florence Box in 1904 and Herbert Box in 1906.

Abraham and Elizabeth were married by banns in St. Bridget’s church on 25th October 1891. The first of their children with a recorded baptism was Elsie, but it is possible that there were other children prior to her that died before they were baptized, and since Evans is a very common name, it is hard to track down other possible births and deaths. It was certainly unusual for the times to not have children for six years. Abraham was a general labourer who is shown on the censuses as working for a time as a mason, which was his father’s occupation, and also as a carter. Elizabeth was from Malvern in Worcestershire, and met Abraham while working in service in West Kirby. In 1911 Edmund was still at school.

1911 Census.jpg

1911 Census

It is unknown what he did for a living when he went to work. His mother was adamant that he not sign up for military service, but by the time he turned 18 in the latter part of 1917, conscription was in force. Young men could expect to receive their papers a few weeks before their birthday and would have their medical assessment done so that as soon as possible after their birthday they could be conscripted and sent off for training. With the exception of his medal card and the document listing his soldier’s effects there are no military records existing for him. They were probably lost in the London bombing in WW2. Since Abraham, Edmund’s father had died in 1916, it is little wonder that his mother did not want Edmund to go to war. He may well have been the main breadwinner in the house and by the time he turned 18 his mother – and everyone else – would have been aware of the high number of deaths in the war. His sister, Elsie Victoria was in the Women’s Auxiliary Corp  and may have contributed to household expenses.

The King’s Liverpool Rifles (1/6th) became part of the 55th (West Lancashire) Division during the war, and were part of the campaign on the Western Front for the entirety of the war. The Spring offensive on the Somme started on 21 March 1918 and there were several battles fought subsequently, but none were in progress on May 18th when Edmund died. His body was not recovered so presumably he got caught out somewhere, perhaps no-man’s land. He died in Festubert, France and is memorialized at the Loos Memorial which is in Loos-en-Gohelle, Dept du Pas-de-Calais, Nord Pas-de-Calais, France. The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave and who died in the area from the river Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay, from the 1st day of the battle of the Loos to the end of the war.


 Edmund Evans Book of Remembrance.JPG

Book of Remembrance

Loos Memorial.JPG

Loos Memorial



Birth: 4th quarter 1899 at West Kirby
Death:  5 May 1918 at Festubert, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Addresses: Grange Road, West Kirby (01); 6, Darmonds Green, West Kirby (11)
Occupation: Unknown
Unit: King’s Liverpool 1/6th Rifles
Number and Rank: Private 90378
Medals: British & Victory
Commemorated: Grange Hill War Memorial West Kirby; United Reformed Church, West Kirby; Book of Remembrance
Sources: BR, CWGC, FT, GH, MC, PR, WK and thanks to Keith Hatton for providing us with information about Edmund, who is a relative of his.