Sergeant Augustine Hackett

6th Battalion Connaught Rangers,

Killed in Action, 19th February 1917,

From Dublin aged 21

Augustine Hackett landed in France with the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers on the 17th December 1915, attached to the 47th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division, for service on the Western Front.

The Battalion was involved in action during operations in Guillemont & Guinchy. In just over a week’s fighting here in September 1916, the 6th Battalion lost 23 officers and 407 other ranks. Augustine coming through this attack unscathed. It was during this battle that he was awarded a Divisional Parchment Certificate for gallantry in action.

February 1917 saw the 6th Connaughts involved in fighting during the Battle of Messines (near the Petit Boise and Maedelstede Farm mines), carrying out numerous trench raids aimed at forcing temporary entry into the enemy’s line in order to kill defenders, destroy fortifications and weapons, gain intelligence by the capture of maps and documents, and return with prisoners.

Augustine was part of large trench raid, near Kemmel, on the 19th February,  when 9 Officers & 190 men went forward under cover of a dense fog The war diary mentions the men ‘cheerfully tucking green miniature Irish flags into their caps or buttonholes’, before moving out at 7.15am.

The Germans however, put up stiff resistance, and at no point did the Rangers succeed in getting past the German wire.

The battalion lost 3 Officers & 8 men killed 2 Officers & 17 men wounded. Augustine tragically, was one of those men killed. The Commanding Officer, Rowland Fielding, mentions his death.

“The first wave of the left party, started off well under 2Lt. Cummins, a very gallant young officer whom I had put in command in place of the original commander. Then Sergeant Hackett, was almost immediately killed”.

The Germans offered a chivalrous local armistice, allowing Augustine & his comrades bodies to be recovered.

He is remembered with honour at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

 

HE WENT TO WAR
FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE
HE DIED WITHOUT HATE
THAT LOVE MIGHT LIVE

 

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Private Charles Hand

1st Battalion Connaught Rangers

Killed in Action, La Bassee,

February 10th 1915,

Aged 22, From Dublin

CharleyCharley was born in Dublin in late 1892.  A pre war regular soldier, he joined the Connaught Rangers in the summer of 1911, being based in India till the outbreak of the Great War.

Landing  in France on the 26th September 1914, the 1st Battalion arrived at the Port of Marseilles having left the port of Karachi on the Indian subcontinent a month before. Throughout 1914 & 1915 they took part in: The First Battle of Messines. October 1914. The Battle of Festubert. November 1914. Battle of Neuve Chapelle. March 1915. Second Battle of Ypres. April 1915. Battle of Loos. September 1915.

Charley was killed at La Bassee in February in 1915, whilst in forward trenches. He was buried in the Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avoue.

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He was the the son of Catherine Hand of 16 Aungier Street, Dublin, and the late John Hand.

hann

 

Incidentally, Charley’s brother John, was to die a year and a half later on the 1st August 1916, whilst serving with the 1st/8th Battalion, The Kings Liverpool Regiment.

“BOYS, YE FOUGHT
AS HEROES FIGHT
AND DIED AS MEN”

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