Regiment: 8th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Died: 29 April 1920
Other Memorial: Seaton War Memorial [Google]
PDF Download: HAYMES William Arthur
William Haymes was born in Beer in 1895, one of the six children of Arthur Haymes, a coastguard from Axmouth, and his wife Ellen, who was born in Beer. In the 1911 census, when the family was living at the Coastguard station in Seaton. William’s occupation was recorded as ‘errand boy at wine and spirit merchant’.
He joined the 8th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment as a drummer, and in that rank was Mentioned in Dispatches. The reference to that award appeared in the London Gazette in January 1916, and as William was obviously already in the 8th Battalion by that time, it means that he must have fought in the battle of the Somme, starting in July that year. On the first day of the battle (1 July 1916) the 8th Battalion suffered 200 casualties out of 584 officers and men who started the day.
William died on 29 April 1920, aged 25, and is buried, with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, in Axmouth churchyard. Their records show that although he died well after the end of the war, his death was directly caused by his wartime service. In the ‘Remarks’ column, the Graves Registration Report Form for Axmouth carries this annotation:
“Haymes, Sgt W.A. Demobilised May 1919, about the 17th, died of tuberculosis, caused by or aggravated by Poison Gas.”
* Required fields