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 Times of 31st December 1915:
Mr and Mrs Seel have received a copy of a letter sent by Private Wilfred Harrison, 1/7th Cheshires, 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.”
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.