Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 32884
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 11 August 1916
Age: 20
Cemetery: Kirkee 1914-18 Memorial, Poona, India

Arthur had been born in Hazel Grove, the son of Henry and Fanny, 12 Lever Street.

He enlisted in early 1916 and was sent to Mesopotamia as part of a draft of replacement troops for the 8th Battalion. Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire and an ally of Germany. Then as now, Britain relied heavily on oil from the area. When war broke out in August 1914, British troops were quickly sent to the area to protect its interests by occupying the oilfields and pipeline near Basra. 

Conditions for the men were appalling. Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common); arid desert and regular flooding; flies, mosquitoes and other vermin: all led to very high levels of sickness and death through disease. Under these conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital.

Arthur cannot have been long on active service before he contracted dysentery. He was evacuated to India to recover but will have died shortly afterwards. The Kirkee Memorial commemorates some 1800 servicemen from the Great War who are interred in small isolated civilian burial grounds throughout India and Pakistan which cannot be practically maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Commission has confirmed for this research project that Arthur is actually buried nearby at Kirkee New Cemetery.

Further information about Arthur, including a photograph, can be found in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.

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