Second LieutenantHORSFALL, BASIL ARTHUR

Died 27/03/1918

Aged 30

1st Bn. attd. 11th Bn.
East Lancashire Regiment

V C

Son of the late Charles William Horsfall, of Darlington, Polwatta, Colombo, and of Maria Henrietta Horsfall (nee Layard), of Florence, Kandy, Ceylon. Born at Kelvin Gerve, Colombo; educated at St. Thomas's College, Colombo and Sir William Borlase School, Great Marlow, England. From Barclay's Bank, London, took up Rubber planting in Ceylon. Appointed Financial Assistant to the Public Works Department of the Civil Service of Ceylon. Qualified in signalling and search light in the Ceylon Engineer Volunteers.

Citation

An extract from "The London Gazette", dated 22nd May, 1918, records the following

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. 2nd Lt. Horsfall was in command of the centre platoon during an attack on our positions. When the enemy first attacked, his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head. Nevertheless, he immediately organised the remainder of his men and made a counter-attack, which recovered his original positions. On hearing that out of the remaining three officers of his company two were killed and one wounded, he refused to go to the dressing room, although his wound was severe. Later his platoon had to be withdrawn to escape very heavy shell fire, but immediately the shelling lifted he made a second counter-attack and again recovered his positions. When the order to withdraw was given, he was the last to leave his position, and, although exhausted, said he could have held on if it had been necessary. HIs conduct was a splendid example to his men, and he showed throughout the utmost disregard of danger. This very gallant officer was killed when retiring to the positions in rear."

Commemorated at ARRAS MEMORIAL

Location: Pas de Calais, France
Number of casualties: 34817

Cemetery/memorial reference: Bay 6.

See cemetery plan
Memorial details

CWGC Archives

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This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.