(L to R) Military Cross; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal with 'Mentioned in Despatches' oak leaf
Arthur was born between October and December 1886 in Wigan, Lancashire. His father was called John and his mother was Kate. He was their eldest child, and only boy. His sisters were Mary Agnes and Kathleen Maria. In 1891 the family lived at 13 Albert Street in Stretford, Manchester, where John worked as a commercial traveller. He died between October and December 1896. Kate and her children moved to 5 Meadow Street in Moss-Side, Manchester, and by 1901 Arthur had found work as a warehouseman.
The family were still together in 1911, and living at 2 Filey Avenue in Whalley Range, Manchester. Arthur was now a salesman for a cotton goods firm.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and Arthur was commissioned as an officer in the 8th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 23rd December 1915. The 8th Battalion had been sent to Egypt in September 1914, so he would have trained with the second or third 8th Battalions (2/8th or 3/8th).
Arthur stayed in the UK training until the 24th October 1916 when he was sent to France. He joined the 1/8th (Irish) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment), known as the Liverpool Irish. This unit had taken heavy casualties during the Somme Offensive that had begun on the 1st July 1916 and would continue until November. It was not unusual for men to be moved between Regiments for this reason.
The Liverpool Irish were based in the Ypres salient in Belgium when Arthur joined them, and they would spend most of the next year in this part of the line. We don't know much about what Arthur did with the Battalion. The first half of 1917 was comparatively quiet, although he was Mentioned in Despatches on the 25th May. We don't know what Arthur did to earn this honour.
From the 31st July onwards the Liverpool Irish took part in the Passchendaele Offensive. This was a difficult and costly campaign. Arthur was promoted to the rank of Acting Captain on the 15th August and given command of a Company of the Battalion. This may have been because of the heavy casualties the Liverpool Irish had taken in early August.
Arthur was awarded the Military Cross in the London Gazette of the 1st January 1918. There was no citation with the announcement. This means we don't know what he did to earn the medal.
By the 1st February 1918 Arthur had been promoted to Lieutenant, although he was still an Acting Captain and commanding a Company of the Liverpool Irish. He left this job and became Adjutant of the Battalion on the 13th May. His new job involved assisting the Commanding Officer in planning operations, as well as managing the junior officers. Arthur served as Adjutant throughout the Hundred Days Offensive that drove the Germans back and led to the end of the war on the 11th November. He left the position on the 31st December.
We don't know when Arthur was able to return to civilian life. The Liverpool Irish was disembodied, or demobilised, on the 14th June 1919, and Arthur 'ceased to be employed with the battalion' on the 25th February 1920.
We don't know what work Arthur did as a civilian. He stayed in the Reserve of Officers until he reached the age limit on the 24th October 1936.
At the end of his life Arthur lived at 40 Appleton Road in Hale, Cheshire. He died on the 13th April 1943, aged 56. Arthur had never married and had no children. He left £1,845 and 6 pence to his two sisters.
Arthur's medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in 1976.