Historian traces Gallipoli grave of Hucknall soldier

Arthur Kendall grave in Gallipoli
Arthur Kendall grave in Gallipoli

A HUCKNALL man has found the grave of a soldier from the town who lost his life after being shelled in Gallipoli during the First World War.

Twenty-six-year old Arthur Kendall, of the Gloucestershire Regiment, took ten minutes to die after being struck by a shell as his younger brother looked on in horror.

Private Kendall, of Clarence Street, Hucknall, was killed on November 1 1915, and is one of only two soldiers from the town posted in Gallipoli to have a marked grave.

The grandfather of Hucknall Labour councillor Jim Grundy also fought in the Turkish region for the 9th battalion Sherwood Foresters,

Now Coun Grundy, a member of Ashfield District Council and a keen historian, has visited the Azmak Cemetery in Suvla Bay, Gallipoli to try and identify any Hucknall men who died during the fighting there.

He says the graveyard was situated among farmland in a national park.

“It is an extremely quiet and peaceful place,” said Coun Grundy. “It is not an easy thing to imagine what it must have been like during the fighting.

“It is a hot place. We had men suffering from extreme thirst and dysentery and then in the winter, men died of frostbite.

“It was a hell of a place to try and survive in, let alone fight a war.”

The Ashfield councillor said Arthur, whose wife and family lived on Brickyard Road, Hucknall at the time, was not killed during a battle but was struck by a shell while in a trench.

“Artillery fire killed more people than anything else,” he said. “He was killed and his brother was not. That is how random it was.”

After his brother’s death, Edward sent a letter telling their sister, a Mrs Askey, of Clarence Street, the sad news.

The Hucknall man, who was also serving in the Gloucestershire regiment, was just 18 years old when Arthur was killed.

He survived the war, later serving in Mesopotamia — modern-day Iraq — and India.

He never married and rejoined the Army in 1928, serving with the 426th Field Battery, the Royal Artillery. Sadly, he died of a brain haemorrhage in 1931.

About 1,800 men from Hucknall fought in the First World War and about 400 of those lost their lives.

Those whose remains were not found are remembered at the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli, along with many other soldiers from Britain, Australia and New Zealand.