Arthur Taylor THORLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 29826
Unit: 7th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death: 22 September 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Herbert Thorley and Mary Jane Taylor married in the first quarter of 1885 at St Thomas' Church, Norbury, Hazel Grove. Arthur was born ten years later and is unlikely to have been their only child. The family was living at 20 Shawcross Street, Stockport when the Census was taken in 1901 (and, later, at 69 Higher Hillgate).

It is not known when Arthur got  married to Maud but, after the War, she was living at 136 Hempshaw Lane.

The Third battle of Ypres had started on 31 July 1917 and was still grinding on nearly two months later. There had been small British advances but at a very high cost in casualties. On 22 September, the South Lancashires were at Kleine Zillebeke, to the south east of the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper).

The Battalion's War Diary records "The day opened without any unusual occurrence. The enemy continued to shell incessantly in a promiscuous manner apparently without plan."

Battalion headquarters was in full view from three directions and every time anyone went near the dug-out, enemy fire was brought down on it. During the evening, the advanced HQ position was shelled and caught fire. "The enemy having set it alight did not shell it again until men were seen moving round it again. Royal Engineers came up during the evening under an officer to see what improvement could be made to the dugout. They proceeded to strengthen a weak wall facing the enemy but they had hardly commenced when they had 9 casualties from shellfire. Four against the door of the dug-out. They were brought in; two were very badly wounded and died later before they could be got to the aid post. They would have died anyway."

The Diary makes no mention of the Battalion's own casualties during the day, but Regimental records published after the War note that 8 men, including Arthur, had died. He has no known grave.

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