Arthur SIDEBOTTOM
Rank: Private
Number: 2094
Unit: 7th Light Armoured Car Battery MACHINE GUN CORPS
Date of Death: 21 October 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: Dar es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania

Arthur was the second son of Albert and Sarah and lived all his life in the Reddish area before he enlisted into the army. In 1901, the family was living at 4 John Street and later moved to 15 Stanhope Street. He had attended Houldsworth School and then went to work for J Halden Ltd. The Company manufactured drawing instruments at its Rowsley works in Reddish. Arthur had continued his education by attending Reddish Green Wesleyan Sunday School.

The Army set up specialist motor machine gun batteries in 1914, with machine guns being mounted on motor cycle sidecars. Many of its recruits, like Arthur, were keen pre-War motor cyclists. He is known to have travelled to Coventry on 4 October 1915 to join the army and became a despatch rider. This will have been to the offices of the magazine Motor Cycle which had a specialist recruiting office on-site.

Army training must have been very brief as by the following month Arthur was back in England having already been wounded in action by shrapnel. He didn't return to his unit until March 1916. In August 1917, the Battery was recalled to England prior to going to East Africa. Arthur had seven days leave and took the opportunity to return to Stockport and get engaged to his sweetheart, Winnie Hewitt. He may have had chance to meet his older brother, Abraham, who had served in France for two years but was then working as a munitions worker in North Wales. He was soon off again and the Battery arrived in Africa on 15 October. Less than a week later, Arthur was dead. He had been killed in action, but it is not possible to establish the circumstances of his death as there does not appear to be a copy of the Battery's War Diary at the National Archives.

   
           
   
     
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