Letter by Lieutenant Beeson to Private Hislop’s father relating the circumstances of his death.
The people at CVWM were contacted and they promptly changed the entry for Private Hislop.
CWGC records indicated he belonged to the 18th Battalion.
Almost all that remains of death of James Hislop [Hyslop] is a terse one line entry in the 18th Battalion War Diary:
NOTE: this entry is in progress.
Letter from Lieut. Beeson to Alex Hislop:
To Alex Hyslop Esq.
From Lieut. J Beeson
Your letter of the 8th inst to which I take the first opportunity to reply:
No. 54341 Pte James Hyslop belonged to my platoon, he was killed by the explosion of a shell, on the 29th day of December, 1915. I am sorry that you have not been informed by the War Office, for it is their duty to do so.
Pte Hyslop and my servant Pte Holland and several more men of my platoon were standing at street corner talking (the Germans were shelling us pretty heavily). I came up the road and they asked me to stay, however, I told them I thought I would get along, I had not gone 20 yards when I heard a shell coming and looking back saw it had landed at the corner, Privates Hyslop and Holland were both instantly killed, Pte Hyslop’s wounds were mostly to the head and Pte Holland the stomach.
We buried them at 9.30 am the next day. The O.C and all the officers of “B” Coy. (and all the men not on duty) were present. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack and the Regimental Chaplain read the service for the dead.
I visited their graves yesterday and they are well cared for as the men visit them when we are here (rest camp).
I will send you a P.C of the church when I can procure one. If there is anything else that I can do for you, shall only be to pleased to do it.
You will please accept the sympathy of the C.O and Officers and men of No.5 Platoon, for Pte Hyslop was a favourite and liked by all.
Sympathising with you in your great loss but trusting you will be fortified with the knowledge that he did his duty.
I remain yours obediently,
J Beeson, Lieut. No.5 Platoon “B”-Coy, 18th Batt. C.E.F.
Thanks for remembering James Hislop. Much appreciated.
Thanks for having access to that letter!