Born locally, Arthur lived with his father, brothers and sisters at 49 Booth Street, Edgeley. Until he joined the army, he worked at Stockport Corporation's gas works.
The 6th Battalion of the Borderers was a Pioneer unit. Its troops were trained to fight as infantry, and would do so, but their main role was in the construction of defences and strongpoints. When a major attack was underway, the pioneers would follow just behind the main attacking force. After the objective had been captured, they would get to work repairing any damage and reversing the trench positions, so they now faced the Germans.
The attack which marked the opening of the Third Battle of Ypres started on 31 July and there had been some initial successes. The Borderers were working at night so they couldn't be spotted by the German artillery or machine gunners but, even so, it still wasn't safe. The British artillery continued to fire at the new German front line but some shells were falling short and even landing behind the British front line.
However, it would not be either side's artillery which killed Arthur and three other men and wounded eight more, whilst they were resting in the front line during the day. The Battalion's War Diary, held at the National Archives, records "At noon, five German planes flew up and down our line of trench - a few hundred feet high firing machine guns at the working parties. "