|Born||11 June 1873
|Died||27 June 1916 (aged 43)
Near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, France
|Buried at||Remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial|
|Years of service||1915 - 1916|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
William Hackett VC (11 June 1873 – 27 June 1916) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Hackett was born 11 June 1873 to John and Harriet Hackett of Nottingham; he worked as a miner for 23 years in the Nottingham and Yorkshire coalfields, and was married to Alice. Hackett enlisted in the 254th Tunnelling Company, Corps of Royal Engineers, in October 1915, after being rejected three times by the York and Lancaster Regiment for being too old. He was 43 years old, and a Sapper in British Army during the First World War when he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross on 22 June/23 June 1916 at Shaftesbury Avenue Mine, near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, France
For most conspicuous bravery when entombed with four others in a gallery owing to the explosion of an enemy mine. After working for 20 hours, a hole was made through fallen earth and broken timber, and the outside party was met. Sapper Hackett helped three of the men through the hole and could easily have followed, but refused to leave the fourth, who had been seriously injured, saying," I am a tunneller, I must look after the others first." Meantime, the hole was getting smaller, yet he still refused to leave his injured comrade. Finally, the gallery collapsed, and though the rescue party worked desperately for four days the attempt to reach the two men failed. Sapper Hackett well knowing the nature of sliding earth, the chances against him, deliberately gave his life for his comrade".
Hackett's name is recorded on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing in Berks Cemetery Extension near Ploegsteert in Hainaut, Belgium. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum (Chatham, England).
- Hackett, William, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- "William Hackett - The Tunnellers Memorial, Givenchy - to be unveiled on 19 June 2010". tunnellersmemorial.com. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- The Sapper VCs (Gerald Napier, 1998)
- Royal Engineers Museum Sappers VCs