Tuesday 18 July 2017

Killed by a British gas shell

Private 40788 Arthur Newbold 

6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment

Died of Wounds 25th July 1917, aged 30.

Arthur Newbold was born in Loughborough in 1887, the son of William and Martha Newbold.

(Charles) William Newbold was born in Rothley, Leicestershire in 1852 and
Martha (Wheldon) was born in 1857 in West Leake, Nottinghamshire. They married in Loughborough, Leicestershire, in April 1876 when he was 24 years old and she was 19 and they lived at 112 Freehold Street, Loughborough.

They had seven children together. Arthur had two older sisters, Jane who was born in 1877 and Elizabeth, born in 1879, and three younger brothers, William, born 1889 Ernest, born 1891, Albert, born 1895 and a younger sister, Florence, born 1898. In 1901, Martha had been widowed and was living with Arthur, Ernest, Albert and Florence, still at 112 Freehold Street.

In 1911 Arthur was boarding with the Collins family who lived at 4 Coochs Court, Stamford in Lincolnshire and he was working as a brickmaker. His mother, Martha, had re-married Arthur Lakin and was still living at 112 Freehold Street. (She died in 1925.)

In October 1915, when he was 28 years old, Arthur Newbold married May Dennis in Stamford and they lived at 6 School Terrace, Stamford.

In June 1916, Arthur enlisted with the Lincolnshire Regiment in Stamford, initially as Private 5972 with the 4th Battalion and on arrival at base camp almost immediately transferred to and served with the 6th Battalion as Private 40788. He was most probably conscripted.

Arthur and May had one child, Rose, during their marriage. When Rose Newbold was born in 1916 in Stamford, Arthur was 29, and May was 24. Rose lost her father when she was only one year old.

The Battalion were only engaged in one operation in 1917 – the capture of the Wundt-Werk, The Battle of Fleurs-Courcellett, The Battle of Thiepval.

The Battalion Diary suggests that Arthur was gassed by a British shell that fell short of its target.

It reads:

On the night of the 24th/25th [July] the Battn. was relieved in the line by the 7th South Staffs and went back into Brigade Reserve on the Canal. While in the line, casualties were fairly light considering the heavy artillery fire, but the first night back in Brigade Reserve a gas shell went through the roof of a shelter and caused thirteen casualties of whom ten died.

Arthur would have been one of those ten. He died as a young father on the 25th July 1917 at the age of 30, and was buried in Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His grave is in Essex Farm Cemetery, Boezinge, II. H. 6.

He was awarded the Service Medal and the Victory Medal,

Grateful thanks to Steve Bramley for sharing the research.

© Dr Karen Ette