Arthur GRIMSDITCH
Rank: Private
Number: 27894
Unit: 9th Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 27 October 1916
Age: 25
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Samuel Grinsditch and Martha Ward married in 1880 at St Mary's Church, Heaton Reddish. It's not known how many children they had over the years but four were living at home when the census was taken in 1901. The family was living in a "two up, two down" house at 33 Manchester Street, Reddish and 9 year old Arthur was the youngest of the four. Also living there was Samuel's sister in law, Jane Hartley, and her daughter, Clara. Samuel, who worked as labourer, died in 1905 aged 43.

As a child, Arthur was a keen member of the Boy's Brigade at St Elizabeth's Church and was one of it's buglers. When he left school, he went to work locally at Broadstone Mill.

He enlisted into the army at Stockport on 17 February 1915 and was assigned to the Welsh Regiment. The 9th Battalion went overseas in July 1915 and it is possible that Arthur was with them. However, in the late spring of 1916, he married his fiancée, Maude Alice Hanson, at St Elizabeth's. He may have been on leave but it is, perhaps, more likely that he married just before going overseas. Maude's address, in 1916, was recorded as being 44 Liverpool Street, Reddish but it's not known if this is a home she briefly shared with Arthur.

The Battalion suffered many casualties on 1 July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and it is possible that Arthur joined after this as one of a draft of new troops. It would not be involved in any further major attacks during the Battle although it  was regularly in the front line. One such tour of duty started in the afternoon of 26 October. "B" Company took over a small section of the front line at Stuff Trench, in the north of the battlefield. "A" Company was in support of them a little way to the rear in Lucky Way. "C" and "D" were further to the rear in reserve positions at Bainbridge and Ransome Trenches. They were in position by mid-afternoon. The next day, the Battalion's War Diary records there had been "considerable artillery activity" and that, by midday, 3 men had been killed. One was Arthur. There is no record as to whether there was anything left of him to bury but, if there was, his grave was lost over the remaining two years of War and he is now remembered on the nearby Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval.

   
           
   
     
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