On The Roll of Honour
Died in WW1 and commemorated in Tony Pringle's book "Lest We Forget"
No. 50192, Private Northamptonshire Regiment, 6th Battalion.
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 7th August 1918.
Arthur Rose is buried in Franvillers Communal Cemetery Extension, France. grave 2:B:17 .
Arthur was born in Badwell Ash in 1899 (Stow Q2-1899 4A:892) son of George and Sarah Anne Rose (née Smith).
In the 1901 census Arthur is aged 2 and was living at Westley Way, Hunston with his mother Sarah A Rose aged 31 born in Badwell Ash, sister Ellen, aged 13 again born in Badwell Ash, brothers George, aged 10 and Ephraim, aged 8, both born in Hunston, his sister Alice, aged 6 and brother Eldred, aged 4, both born in Hunston as well as his grandfather Robert Rose, aged 73, born in Badwell Ash. His father, George Rose, aged 32, Badwell Ash born, a shepherd, was at Dairy Farm, Hunston.
In the 1911 census…Aged 12, he was living at White Horse Yard, Badwell Ash with his parents sisters Ellen and Alice, brothers George, Ephraim and Eldred who were all farm labourers and new siblings, sister Florence, aged 10 and brother Reginald, aged 8 both born in Hunston.
Military and War: George enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds as did his two brothers, Eldred and George William.
He joined the 6th Battalion of The Northamptonshire Regiment which was raised at Northampton in August 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army.
On the 6th August 1918, the Battalion was based at Morlancourt in the Somme, Preparations for a proposed offensive on the 8th August 1918 were disturbed by a German attack against the 7th Bedfordshires during relief by the 6th Northants. Counter-attacks made by the 6th Northants regained the lost ground, ready for the major assault in two days’ time. Regrettably, 24 of the battalion were killed during these counter-attacks on the 7th August. There is this very brief entry in the war diary (thanks to Graeme Clarke) which says: “4.40am. In conjunction with 11th Royal Fusiliers on right, “B” and “D” Companies attacked in two waves and recaptured original frontline. During the day the enemy made repeated counter attacks. 4.30pm. Enemy captured Lewis gun post immediately south of Bray-Corbie road, the whole team being killed. A platoon of “B” Company re-established the line.” That was the sum total of comment about 12 hours of fighting!
Courtesy of a relative we have this letter from the padre Rev. H. B. Cole:-
“9th Aug 1918,
Dear Mrs Rose, This letter brings you bad news I fear. Your son Arthur was found this morning lying dead by the side of the road where Wednesday/Thursday’s battle was in progress & was brought back for burial by an officer who found him there, hit in both legs & in other ways damaged. I happened to be passing the cemetery at the time, & arranged for his funeral: none of his companions could be present, but I hope it may be some consolation to you to know that he received reverent burial and that his grave will be carefully marked and tended. I am sending his papers that were in his pockets in 2 packets, & his belt and handkerchief via a third. His Pay Book will be forwarded to you through the War Office. In his letter he had made a will leaving all he possessed to you. In his book I see your address is given as “Long Thurlow” -not as your recent letters give another address, I use that for this: but the War Office will write to you at the old one: so I should advise the Post Office at Long Thurlow, if you have not already done so, of the change. I am writing to your other son, whose address I have on one of his letter, to tell him of his brother’s death.
Please accept my very real sympathy with you in your bereavement, and believe me
Yours truly H Basil Cole 94 S.R; R.G.A.; B.E.F.”
It is not often possible to find good photographs of these men or scans of letters written at the time. This is a great pity as they do far more than the typed word to show us what these men were like.
Arthur here certainly does not look old enough to be overseas, fighting for his King and Country.
Unfortunately there is no evidence as to when he arrived in France, but it does seem the Army were pushing the age limits at the time.
The letter also reminds us of the sad duties of Officers and Chaplains, perhaps having to write hundreds of these condolence messages, which one assumes were received in a better way than the cold, stark War Office telegram.
In Arthur’s case his mother did have the consolation that her other sons, George and Eldred appear to have survived service in WW1. Ephraim does not appear to have been called up. This is the conclusion drawn, if the plaque in St Mary’s church is accurate. Again, this is not always the case as instances do occur where one brother may be commemorated on a memorial and another not shown.
Arthur’s CWGC Commemorative Certificate can be seen here.