Horace Arthur Seel, 2nd Lt, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 7th December 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey, aged 19
Horace Arthur Seel was born on 31st January and baptised on 22nd March 1896 at St George’s Church, Sutton, south Macclesfield, the youngest son of Maria and Charles Seel, a commercial traveller, of 61 Oxford Road, Macclesfield.
In 1901, five year old Horace was living at 60 Coare Street with his parents and siblings Mary (21), Emma (18), Laura (12) and Charles Henry Barton (9). Ten years later in 1911 the family had moved to Myrtle Villa, 167 Bond St, Macclesfield.
Horace was educated first at Beech Lane School and then at Duke Street School, where in 1908 he won a scholarship to Macclesfield Grammar School worth £10 per year for 3 years. At the end of that time he won a further partial scholarship for 1911-12, and in 1913, whilst still at that school, he enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School, along with 4 other schoolboys, to learn advanced French. In his final year at the Grammar School, 1913-14, Horace was head boy, and during that year won an exhibition to Jesus College, Oxford for four years, and the Grammar School leaving scholarship. He went to Oxford on 9th October 1914.
Horace was a keen sportsman and whilst at the Grammar School was captain of both the football and cricket teams, and also assisted at Macclesfield Cricket Club.
Horace joined the Oxford O.T.C on arrival at university and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on 4th March 1915, joining the 7th Cheshire Regiment, then in training at Bedford. He went out to the Dardanelles from Oswestry with a draft of 50 men on the 15th November, arriving on 2nd December and taking up position in the defending trenches at Lala Baba. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 1st January 1916:
SECOND-LIEUTENANT HORACE ARTHUR SEEL – The intimation we published last week of the death of Sec-Lieut H A Seel, younger son of Mr Charles Seel, of Myrtle Villa, Bond Street, has since been fully confirmed…
The following extracts are from a letter written by Private Wilfred Harrison, of Macclesfield, to his mother. He states, “The officer who came out here with us was talking to me and another Macclesfield lad, and it was the first day in the trenches, when a shell came and burst between us, and the pair of them were killed. How I escaped is a mystery. The force of the shell bursting knocked me ten yards on my back and a bullet out of the shell struck a shovel I had on my shoulder and flattened it. I have the bullet now. That poor officer was a nice chap … he lived in Bond Street.”
Second-Lieutenant Seel started his school life at Beech Lane Church of England School, after which he went to Duke Street National School, where in 1908 he won a scholarship of £10 per year for three years,t enable at the Macclesfield Grammar School. At the end of his term he won an examination scholarship for 1911-12, and in December, 1913, he was successful in winning an exhibition, open to all England, to Jesus College, Oxford, for four years, of the value of £60 per year. He also secured the school “leaving scholarship,” of the value of £40 per year for three years. He went to Oxford on October 9th, 1914, and left there the day after he was gazetted.
He always took a keen interest in sports, and was captain of the Macclesfield Grammar School cricket and football teams. He was a successful runner, and held the challenge bowl of the school and won numerous other prizes. One notable cricket match in which he participated was when the Grammar School played Buxton College in 1913, when he captured five wickets for 16 runs and himself scored 114 not out. He had also assisted the Macclesfield Cricket Club. In his school work he was very successful, and won numerous prizes including that for French given by Mr J O Nicholson, J.P. When he left the Grammar School he was head boy. Upon his being gazetted he received a congratulatory letter from four of his former school mates at Duke Street who are now serving with the 10th Cheshires, Privates H Williamson, J Stoneley, J Clarke and T Brown. Lieutenant Seel’s brother Harry is a second-lieutenant attached to the 3/7th Cheshires at Oswestry. He also was educated at the Macclesfield Grammar School.
2nd Lt Horace Seel has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 75 to 77 of the Helles Memorial, Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for 2nd Lt Horace Seel, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, 2nd Lt Horace Seel is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, St George’s Church and King’s School war memorials, and the Macclesfield Cricket Club roll of honour.
Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the war memorial board in Jesus College, Oxford, and he has an entry in the Oxford University Roll of Service book.
Brother of Harry Seel, who also served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment and survived the war.