Squire HAZELDINE
Rank: lance corporal
Number: 12101
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 10 April 1918
Age: 28
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Between 1861 and 1865, Levi Hazeldine married Mary Cash at St Thomas' Church, Hazel Grove. She must have died some time after as, in the summer of 1878, Levi married Jane Shuttleworth at St Mary's Church, Cheadle. As well as Squire, who was born in 1889, they would have a number of other children. The family home was at 25 Heavily Grove.

The family worshipped at St George's Church and Squire received education at Stockport Sunday School.

Squire volunteered for the army in September 1914. He was reported to have gone overseas on 24 June 1915, although as the 9th Cheshires did not embark for France until 18/19 July, this appears to be an error.

On 9 April, the German Army launched the second phase of its spring offensive in what would become known as the Battle of the Lys. It came as a complete surprise to the Allied troops in northern France. The 9th Cheshires were in camp as Brigade Reserve and were immediately sent to Nieppe, arriving there at 6.50am on the 10th and were now in the same sector as the Cheshires' 10th and 11th Battalions.

The Battalion's War Diary records "The village was somewhat damaged by heavy long range shell fire and was still receiving attention from the enemy's guns. It was then learned that the enemy had attacked on a front extending from Ploegsteert to south of Armentieres."  Squire and his comrades were now ordered to a support position north east of the village and were there by 2pm. Two hours later, the Germans had forced their way through Ploegsteert Wood and were attacking the front line troops in front of the Cheshires. These troops fell back to the Cheshires position and, at 4.30, the German infantry were spotted. By evening, the enemy had brought up field artillery and was shelling the defended front line. Two infantry attacks were repulsed but the Germans had pushed back the troops on either side of the Cheshires and they now had no option but to also withdraw. Sometime during the day, Squire, who was one of the Battalion's stretcher bearers, had been shot by a sniper. In the chaos of the battle, it will not have been possible to arrange a proper burial and he now has no known grave.

Squire is also commemorated on the Memorial at St George's Church and much of the personal information about is taken from an earlier research project into the men on that Memorial. The project recorded that, in 1918, Squire's sister, Emily and brother-in-law, George Langley were living at 93 Shaw Heath. Edith was still at the family home. Lizzie lived at 11 Heavily Grove (she may have married a Joseph Wyatt) and Annie at 19 Nicholson Street

   
           
   
     
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