Arthur HULME
Rank: Private
Number: 315029
Unit: 23rd Battalion CHESHIRE reGIMENT
Date of Death: 1 September 1918
Age: 34
Cemetery: Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Arthur was born in Stockport, the son of William and Sarah Ann Hulme. He had worked for the Post Office since leaving school and was a postman before he enlisted in 1916. He was married to Gertrude May and they lived at 1 Gilmore Street, Stockport. In his spare time, he was a member of the Salvation Army Band in the town.

He is understood to have enlisted in 1916 and it is thought he originally joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers. His service number was given as 42833. However, this does not appear in his on-line Medal Index Card records at the National Archives. This would suggest that he did not serve overseas with the Fusiliers as, otherwise, he would have had a medal entitlement with them.

At some point, possibly in early 1917, he transferred to the Cheshire's. On 1 January of that year, the 23rd (Territorial) Battalion was formed as a Home Service unit. However, in May 1918, it was sent to France on active service.

Arthur was in hospital when he died of wounds he had received. It is not possible to be absolutely sure when he received them, but the Battalion fought its first major action during the 48 hours preceding his death.

The Battalion's War Diary records that, on 31 August, the Cheshires were in northern France. "General advance in which the Battalion takes part. Battalion reaches line La Becque, Le Verrier, Doulieu - an advance of 2500 yards. Battalion advances under fire from hidden machine guns but pushes on and reaches objectives. As it was the first time for the Battalion to take part in an offensive action, the men did very well. The Companies on the right had serious obstacles to overcome. Casualties: 3 killed, 2 wounded."

The record continues for the next day "Battalion carries out an independent advance and attacks and captures Doulieu and Le Verrier by 6am. Line established in front of village and hamlet. Relieved by 23rd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, who take part in further advance. The Battalion then becomes Brigade Support. 1 Other Rank killed. 15 Other ranks wounded. 5 Other ranks gas casualties"

In contrast to attacks in previous years of the war, casualties were remarkably light.

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