DIVISIONAL UNIT: 4th Canadian Infantry Division
12th Infantry Brigade
38th Battalion - Ottawa
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654760
RESIDENCE: Wingham – Wingham
DATE OF BIRTH: October 31, 1890.
Wingham – Turnberry Township – County of Huron – Ontario.
DATE OF DEATH: April 22, 1918 27 years 5 months
CEMETERY: La Targette British Cemetery – Neuville-St Vaast –
Pas de Calais – France.
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FATHER: Mr. Robert W. Hastings, Esquire – Englehart – Ontario.
Occupation: Farmer. Religion: Presbyterian.
Enlistment: Wingham – May 1, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 26 years 4 months.
Once in England Private Hastings transferred to the 38th Battalion and moved into France on December 29, 1916. He arrived at Canadian Base Depot located at Havre – France at the end of December and arrives with his unit already in the field on February 8, 1917.
Private Hastings was wounded on September 2, 1917 suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck and taken to No. 11 Canadian Field Ambulance. He returned to duty about a week later.
Private Hastings was killed in action during military operations while he and his unit were located in the
trenches near Arleux.
Private Hastings had lost an older brother Sapper Alvin Burns Hastings in Belgium during 1917.
The Brigade was in Divisional Reserve at Thelus Caves.
The weather was fair during the day with winds north-east but drizzling rain was falling in the evening.
From the Battalion diaries “A” Company was left & “D” Company was right and they were on the front line. “B” Company & “C” Company were left / right in support.
The advanced party while advancing sustained casualties from enemy artillery.
Enemy artillery was scattered except for a concentrated barrage on the Willerval Valley which lasted 6 ½ hours.
The 38th sent out a reconnoitering party to the Arleux Road and while out the enemy swept the road with machine gun fire. Two enemy flare men were observed but ran when the patrol attempted a flanking move. The patrol was back by 4:30 pm.
Our research suggests that Private Hastings was part of the reconnoitering party and lost his life from enemy machine gun fire.