Corporal Victor Chandos Hack


Victor Chandos Hack was born on 4 February 1893 in Charing Cross Hospital, London, one of eleven children of domestic gardener James Hack and his wife Sarah Ann (née Missingham), of Beech Pond, Headley, Southampton. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Headley with his widowed mother and five of his nine surviving siblings, and working as a domestic groom.

Hack enlisted in the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) on 21 February 1916 (No. GS/21610). Soon after, he was posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.

Hack was probably posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of the regiment in France in June 1916 from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July.

Hack must have been granted home leave at the beginning of 1917, for on 28 February he married Bertha Glaysher at the Headley Parish Church. The couple had three children over the next seven years, though two died in infancy.

The 2nd NIH Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when it was disbanded and its men transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Hack, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Hack was issued regimental number 41079 and posted to A Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Hack was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been captured, unwounded, on 27 March at Erches, near Roye, when much of the battalion had been overwhelmed by the fast-moving German advance. He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held initially at Bohain in France, then in camps at Giessen and Limburg in Germany.

Hack arrived back in England on 26 November 1918. There he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. In 15 March 1919 he re-enlisted for four years with the Corps of Dragoons (No.D/34450 – later Army No.392549). He was posted to the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, serving with that regiment until discharged on 30 January 1923. His military character was recorded as 'expemplary'.

Hack re-joined the regiment at Aldershot on 10 October 1924. He was discharged at the end of his two years' service.

At the time of the 1939 Register Hack was living with his family at Stonehill Cottages, Headley, and working as a van driver. He died there on 4 October 1954.