Arthur Chester YATES
Rank: Private
Number: 2286
Unit: D Company, 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 8 July 1915
Age: 25
Cemetery: Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta

Arthur Carr Yates and Annie Chester had married in 1884 in the South Manchester area. They would have three sons who served during the War. Arthur and William (Billie) would both be killed; the third, Wilfred, would survive. There is no record that two older sons, Leslie and another believed to have been Stanley, served.

Arthur Chester Yates was born in Withington on 23 August 1889. To distinguish him from his father, he was always known as Chester.  His father died in 1896 but his mother is thought to have lived on for many years. In 1901 when a census was taken, Chester was living as a pupil at the Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans School in Cheadle Hulme (now Cheadle Hulme School). He attended the School from 1889 to 1904. Three of his other brothers were also pupils - Leslie leaving in 1901, Wilfred in 1906 and Billie in 1911.

At the time of the Census, Billie and Wilfred were living with Stanley C Yates, described as their father on the census, at 14 Heath Road, Cale Green. This must be an error by the census taker who records his age as only 16 (confirmed as accurate by the family history website, FreeBMD). He must be an older brother, recorded as being head of the household whilst their mother was away.

In the years between 1901 and 1914, the family are known to have moved to 61 Garners Lane and then to 24 Beech Road. They worshipped at St Saviour's parish church and Chester was confirmed there in 1908. Wilfred and Billie Yates were also educated at Cheadle Hulme School - Wilfred leaving in 1906 and Billie in 1911.

In later life, Chester went to work for Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee Ltd (and is commemorated in the Company's entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour). As an employee, Chester would have known Mr Noel Lee, son of the founding director and a manager in the Company. Noel Lee was also a senior officer in the Territorials and, when they went overseas, he was the Brigadier General commanding the Manchester Brigade.

Chester was politically active as a member of the National League of Young Liberals. He was also a keen sportsman. He was a member of Stockport Tennis Club and, in the winter, played wing defence for Stockport Lacrosse Club's first team. He was one of many young players to join the 6th Manchesters in the days immediately following the outbreak of War on 4 August 1914. Billie and Wilfred were also lacrosse players and joined the Manchesters with their brother. Within a month, they were on a ship bound for Egypt where they spent the next seven months. Some details of this time can be found here.

At the beginning of May 1915, the Battalion left Egypt to go into action at Gallipoli. The three brothers took part in the attack on 4 June. They lost many friends and all three brothers were wounded. Wilfred was shot in the foot. Billie was injured in the hand but this was not serious and he returned to duty shortly afterwards. Chester's wounds to his thigh were the most serious but not thought to be life-threatening. After treatment at a field hospital, he was evacuated by hospital ship to Malta where his condition improved. Whilst in hospital he wrote to his sweetheart telling her of his wound. However, a month after being wounded, he rapidly deteriorated and died. It's understood that his sweetheart never married.

Less than a month later, news would come that Billie had been action again and had not been so lucky this time.

(The assistance of Cheadle Hulme School in compiling this biography is acknowledged)

Updated February 2008 -with thanks to a descendent for further information received.

   
           
   
     
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