Private Arthur ARNOLD [?]


Regiment/Service:
Cheshire Regiment
Unit:
1/6th Battalion
[Formerly: 7th Battalion]
Service Number:
15113 [267917 on CWGC Record)
[Formerly: 4201]
Date of Death:
10 February 1917
Age:
22
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
V. H. 13.




Personal History:


No trace can be found of an 'Arnold' family living in the area in any of the relevant Censuses. The nearest possibility is Arthur Arnold, although available records show that both he and his family spent all of their time in the Stockport area.

This Arthur was born in the December quarter 1895, in Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire, the eldest son of Matthew (Barman in Beerhouse) and Jessie Bowman (née Brown) Arnold.
In 1901 (Census RG 13/3737) the family were living at 12 Taylorson (?) Street, Odsall, Salford, Manchester. Father Matthew died on the 28th March 1907, but before then four more younger children were added to the family, Charlotte, Ernest (see Footnote below), Minnie and Harry. In his earlier years, Arthur attended St George's Sunday School and enlisted into the local Territorial Battalion at Stockport.

By 1911 (Census RG 14/21375) the surviving family had moved to 83 Crosby Street, Stockport, and 15 year old Arthur was working as a 'Grocers Assistant'. At the time of his enlistment in 1915 Arthur stood 5 ft. 5½ ins. [1.66 m.] tall and weighed 9 st. 0 lbs. [57.2 kgs.]. The remaining written record for Arthur all refers to his home address as the one of his mother in Crosby Street - hence, the doubt as to whether he is the casualty named on the Buxton Memorial.

Military History:
There are no obvious records on the SDGW Databases, i.e. showing a casualty 'born', 'enlisted' or 'living' in North Derbyshire. CWGC Records have 24 casualties with either a single first name beginning with 'A' or the single initial 'A'.

The nearest possibility is Arthur Arnold, as detailed above. His Service Papers show that he enlisted in the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, on a Short Service Attestation at Stockport on the 9th December 1915, aged 20 years 4 months. He was admitted to the Army Reserve, but Mobilised shortly after, on the 24th January 1916, and posted to the 7th Battalion.

On the 28th September 1916 Arthur was posted to France, sailing from Southampton the day and landing at Rouen, moving on to the Regimental Base Depot. He was posted to the 1/6th Battalion on the 2nd November 1916 and received his new Service Number of 15113.

The 1/6th Battalion had been based in Stockport at the start of the War, part of the Cheshire Brigade, Welsh Division. On the 10th November 1914 the Division landed in France and went straight into action - see Stockport Territorials and the Battalion's participation in "The Christmas Truce".

On the 17th December 1914 the Battalion was attached to 15th Brigade in 5th Division. On the 1st March 1915 the Battalion transferred to GHQ and spent several months on guard and other duties at Rouen, Abbeville and Dieppe.

On the 9th January 1916 a further transfer took place, to the 20th Brigade in 7th Division and on the 29th February 1916 again to the 118th Brigade, 39th Division, which was the situation when Arthur joined on the 2nd November 1916.

Arthur was killed in action on the 10th February 1917. After a period in reserve, the Cheshire’s had moved back into the front line on the 9th February 1917, at Wieltje, to the east of Ypres. The next day, their trench was hit by an enemy shell. As well as Arthur, Pt. 265447 Charles McClellan was also killed and now lies alongside Arthur in Grave V. H. 14.

Arthur’s platoon officer wrote to the family “Pte Arnold was killed during a heavy bombardment on the Saturday afternoon. He was on sentry duty in the trench when he was hit on the head with a piece of shrapnel, being rendered unconscious and dying a painless death shortly afterwards. I have been his platoon commander for the past few weeks and have known him to be a good and cheerful worker. He will be missed by all his comrades.” He was buried in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery. In total he had spent 1 year 81 days with the Colours, 136 days of which in France.


Footnote:
·  Arthur's brother, Pt. 67218 Ernest Arnold, served with the 3rd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment

Sources:
·  I am grateful to John Hartley's "Stockport Soldier who died in the Great War" site for additional information


Commemorated on:
poppy
Link to CWGC Record