Private Arthur Bertrand Eschle(M.M)
Born. 12th September 1881, 13 Commercial Place, Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales.
Died. 1st July 1916, Serre, France.
Arthur Bertrand Eschle, was the ninth of eleven children (five of whom did not survive infancy) born on the 12th September 1881, in Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales to Felix and Hannah Eschle.
Arthur’s father, Felix, was born in Rohrbach, Baden in Southwest Germany, in 1834, where his family owned a small farm. Felix was a clockmaker in Germany. When his father (Johann) died, in 1850. Felix left Germany with his younger sisters Dominica and Wilhelmina. He settled in Aberdare with Dominica, where he met Hannah Dance. They married on the 26th December 1866. Felix died in 1892, when Arthur was just 10 years old. Wilhelmina went to Plymouth, Devon where she later married.
Felix married Hannah Dance, a native of Taffs Well near Cardiff (born 1844), on 26 December 1866. Hannah was a jeweller. The couple set up a clock making and jewellery business in Aberdare, which Hannah continued to run after Felix’s death in 1892.
Arthur’s siblings were Leonhard Edgar, Bernard Oswald, Gertrude Letitia, Frank Isidor and Eva Isabella.
Arthur Bertrand Eschle served as a Private Soldier during the Boer War, and by the end of it had reached the rank of W011.
At the outbreak of World War One, Arthur promptly went to the Leeds Town hall, and enlisted, as a private soldier into the “Leeds Pals” (apparently his Germanic ancestry prevented him from being promoted)
On the 10th August 1915, whilst stationed at No1 camp, Ripon, Arthur married Bertha Faller at St Dubritius Chapel in Pontypridd.
Less than a year later, Private Arthur Bertrand Eschle was killed in action, on the 1st July 1916. The first day of the “Battle of the Somme” he was just 34 years of age.
Bertha Eschle was living in Pontypridd, at the time of his death. She “Never” re-married, and died in 1983.
A year after his death he was posthumously awarded the “Military Medal” – Gazetted on the 28th June 1917.
He was survived by his older brothers, Leonard, also a clockmaker, Bernard, an ironmonger, Frank, an engine fitter, an older sister, Gertrude (later Griffiths), and a younger sister, Eva.
He is buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 1Pas de Calais, France (grave reference I. A. 4.).
The inscription on Arthur’s gravestone reads: -
In Memory Of
Private Arthur Bertrand Eschle MM
15/312, 15th Bn., West Yorkshire Regt. (Prince Of Wales's Own)
Who Died Age 34 On Saturday 1 July 1916.
Private Eschle, Son Of Felix And Hannah Fschle, Of Brynygwaith Villas, Llwydcoed, Aberdare, Glam;
Husband Of Bertha Eschle, Of Pontypridd, Glam.
Remembered With Honour