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Arthur Prescott Balshaw was the youngest son of rope and twine maker Joseph Balshaw and Mary Jane Prescott, he was born in Preston on the 31st March 1896. His parents married in St. Mary`s Church in Preston on the 18th March 1885. Joseph was one of six children born to his parents, although sadly one son died in infancy; James (1886), Henry (1887-1887), Elizabeth (1889), Robert (1891) and John (1893).

After his parents married they went to live at 20 Alexandra Street in the Fishwick area of Preston before moving to King`s Croft in Walton le Dale which is where they were living in 1901. Joseph Balshaw`s wife Mary Jane died in 1903 and by 1911 Joseph, now a gardener, was living at 10 St. Patrick`s Place in Walton le Dale with his daughter Elizabeth (housekeeper), son John (nurseryman), Arthur (print worker) and grandchildren James and Florence Balshaw.

Unfortunately Arthur`s papers are not available but according to the information supplied in the newspaper cutting below he enlisted in about September 1914 after leaving his job at the printing works in Higher Walton. He was posted to the 6th Battalion and allocated the service number 11219.

On the 17th June 1915 Arthur sailed with the Battalion from Avonmouth, going to Gallipoli via Mudros.

Sadly, Private Arthur Balshaw was killed in action just a couple of months later during the desperate fighting at Chunuk Bair.

On the night of the 9th August 1915, after desperate fighting, heavy shelling and repeated attacks by the Turks against Brigadier-General Johnstone`s New Zealand Brigade; the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 5th Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment arrived at Chunuk Bair as reinforcements. The 10th Hampshire Regiment was in support.

The official despatch states;

The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognised how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the end of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down, in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches, by sheer weight in numbers, while the Wiltshires, who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin`s column which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no Turk was left upon our side of the slope.

Arthur`s date of death was confirmed as the 10th August 1915. After his death the Preston Guardian published the following photographs and information about Arthur (centre) and two of his brothers.

Balshaw

Arthur has no known grave and so his name is remembered on the Helles Memorial to the Missing. After the war he was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Rank: Private
Service No: 11219
Date of Death: 10/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

 Additional family information

7210 Private James Balshaw, 1st Battalion L.N.L. Regiment. James Balshaw was a labourer in a chemical factory and living in Manchester in 1911. He married Mary Elizabeth White in St. Paul`s, Manchester on the 2nd January 1911 and they had three daughters; Margaret (1911), Mary Jane (1913) and Hannah (1915-1916). James was called up as a reservist on the 5th August 1914 and sailed to France with the 1st Battalion on the 12th August 1914. He was wounded in action (gun-shot wounds right forearm) on the 23rd October 1914 and returned to England for treatment. He went back to France on the 23rd February 1915 and re-joined the 1st Battalion. On the 27th September 1915 he suffered gas poisoning and again returned to England for treatment. After recovering James sailed to the Mediterranean as a reinforcement for the 6th Battalion on the 14th November 1915. James died of gun-shot wounds to his abdomen on the 11th April 1916 in Mesopotamia. His name is recorded on the Basra Memorial. He was awarded the 1914 Star and the British War and Victory Medals.

9126 Private Robert Balshaw, 4th Battalion King`s Royal Rifles Corps. Robert served with the Battalion for 7 years prior to WW1. He served with the Battalion throughout the war, he survived and was demobilised on the 25th February 1919. Robert was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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