Arthur HOOLE
Rank: Private
Number: 308273 (previously 6300)
Unit: 18th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment
Date of Death: 25 September 1916
Age: 22
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Arthur was the son of James and Alice of Lockside, Marple. James Hoole, a commercial traveller, had married Alice Ann Fletcher in the early part of 1893 in a civil ceremony at Stockport. The following year, Arthur was born. The 1901 Census also records that, by then, he had a one month old brother called James

The Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour has an entry from Sir Jacob Behrens & Sons Ltd, listing him as an employee. The Company were textile merchants and are still trading. Arthur had enlisted into the 3/6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. His service number, 3416, is not early and it may have been as late as early 1916 when he joined up. His on-line medal entitlement records at the National Archives do not mention this service. This confirms that he didn't serve abroad with the Manchesters and will, no doubt, have been transferred to the King's when he finished training.

On 21 September 1916, Arthur and his comrades moved from camp to Savoy and Carleton Trenches, relieving the 7th King's. These support positions were in the south of the Somme battlefield, near the village of Longueval. It was a quiet time over the following days.

On the 25th, the Battalion's War Diary records that they left the positions at 8pm and moved forward to support the 165th Brigade in the front line. It notes that one "other rank" was missing. This was Arthur. Although there is nothing in the official documentation, letters from comrades indicate that, sometime during the day, a shell landed amongst a group of soldiers and he was killed. Arthur has no known grave so, perhaps, there was nothing left of him to bury.

Further information about Arthur, including a photograph, can be found in the book "Remebered" by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff.

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