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Alexander Muir Hastings

Updated: Nov 12, 2023


Corporal Alexander Muir Hastings. Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. Ypres Salient, Flanders. Falkirk District
Corporal Alexander Muir Hastings.

S/5363 Corporal

10th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division

Age: 38

Date of Death: 19.12.15

Buried: Sanctuary Wood Cemetery II.G.35

Family history: Husband of Marion Hastings, nee Inglis,196 West Carron; father of one child, John. He had previously served in the army seeing service in the Boer War and had received the campaign medal and four clasps. Before rejoining from the reserve in September 1914, he was employed as a moulder at the Carron Company. He went to France on 4 October 1915.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion was in the line at Sanctuary Wood. At 2am on the 19 December the Germans began to intermittently shell the rear area around Zillibeke and at 5.30am began to heavily shell the British lines to the north of the battalion positions with gas and HE shells. They also began enfilade fire over the battalion positions and rifle fire began to their front. Telephone communication was lost with Battalion HQ and at 6am the Germans began to shell Sanctuary Wood with HE and Shrapnel shells. British artillery began to fire however, their shells fell short on the battalion positions blowing in the trenches at Gourock Road and B.4 killing three men and wounding four. At 8am telephone communications were established with Battalion HQ and the Germans ceased their artillery fire on Sanctuary Wood however, they concentrated on Zouave Wood to the north. From 6pm German shell fire began to fall on Sanctuary Wood and the British replied with counter battery fire.

(Linesman Map)


Despite this fire during the day the battalion had completed filling two thousand sand bags and digging out those trenches that had been blown in. At dusk the Royal Engineers began work on riveting Gourock Road trench but retired due to the shelling with the War Diary recording that during the night the Germans fired two thousand shells into Sanctuary Wood. On the 20 December the battalion was relieved by the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and went back to Maple Copse.


Headstone

Corporal Alexander Muir Hastings. Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Corporal Alexander Muir Hastings. Sanctuary Wood Cemetery

Medals Awarded

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.


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