WW1 - Surnames starting with the letter A. 

Joseph A. Arrowsmith

Rank:Lance CorporalNumber:R/6005
Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:08th Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:King's Royal Rifle Corps
Died:28/12/1915Age:21
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:Belgium
Cemetery or Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Town Memorial:Irlam
Extra Information:
Born during the December quarter 1894 in the Salford R.D. – ref: 8d/142,
the son of Joseph & Annie Arrowsmith (nee Yardley).

His father - Joseph, died in 1898 - aged: 42.  His mother married Collins
Stephenson in 1899.

1901 Census – 38 Higson Street, Salford.   Son (step-son actually) -
aged: 6 - born: Salford.    Head of household - Colling Stephenson
(step-father) - Married - aged: 31 - occ: Dock Labourer - born: Hull,
Yorkshire.  Also - Annie Stephenson (mother) - Wife - aged: 42 - born:
Manchester.    Plus - 1 younger half-sister and a boarder.    Joseph was
listed under his new family name of Stephenson, not Arrowsmith.

1911 Census – 4 Higson Street, Salford.     Son (step-son actually) -
aged: 16 - occ: Company Clerk in Office - born: Salford.    Head of
household - Colling Stephenson (step-father) - Married - aged: 40 - occ:
Dock Labourer - born: Hull, Yorkshire.  Also - Annie Stephenson (mother) -
Wife - aged: 32 - born: Northwich, Cheshire.    Plus - 1 elder sister and 2
younger half-sisters.    Joseph was listed under his new family name of
Stephenson, not Arrowsmith.

The 8th (Service) Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC), served
in the 41st Brigade, 14th (Light) Division.

I am most grateful to Neil Drum & Pete Thomas for allowing me to use
verbatim the following extract from their superb 623 page book "A District
at War - Irlam & Cadishead's Part in the Great War", an incredibly detailed
and comprehensive book that is not only a credit to them, but a magnificent
memorial to the WW1 men of that district.

Joseph was born in Salford, the son of Annie Stephenson, of Ferry House,
Bob’s Lane, Cadishead (Annie died 26th October 1941 aged 77).   His
father had died before the war and his mother had remarried. Joseph had two
older sisters.   He resided at Millbank Hall Cottages in Partington and was
employed as a book keeper at the local dock offices of the Manchester Ship
Canal Company.   He was a member of Mr. Burgess’ Wesleyan Bible Class in
Partington.   He was a talented singer who had sung solo at Manchester
Cathedral.   On 26th October 1914 he enlisted at London into the KRRC. His
service record describes him as 20 years and 1 month old, 5 foot 7 inches
tall and weighing 129lb.   The next day he joined the Regimental Depot at
Winchester and on 2nd November was posted to the 8th KRRC. On 18th May he
arrived, with the battalion, at Boulogne, France. Joseph served in a
machine-gun section in the battalion.   On 9th August 1915 he was promoted
to Lance Corporal (paid). On 23rd September 1915 he received a gunshot
wound to his hand.

Joseph was shot by a sniper and died of his wounds on Tuesday, 28th
December 1915, aged 21.   Second Lieutenant Arthur E. Radway wrote to his
mother: ‘Please accept my inadequate sympathy, but try and comfort
yourselves that your son has died a brave soldier, a real man and a true
friend’.   The battalion war diary records that the battalion was in the
vicinity of Elverdinghe Chateaux that day: ‘Quiet day. More accommodation
now that Monmouth Regiment has left.   9th R.B. arrived in the evening.
Operation orders for relieving 7th R.B. received.  First batch of warm
clothing arrives’.
In January 1916, the Reverend James Todd of Sale Wesleyan Church held a
memorial service at Partington Church for Joseph and also Ernest Pollard
who had died in Gallipoli during August 1915.   They had both been
associated with the Partington Church before the war. Special hymns were
sung by a large congregation and the Roll of Honour for the church was
read.   Using an example from industrial life, the Reverend explained that:
‘When entering a weaving establishment the onlooker saw a sheet full of
weft ends, but devoid of colours and form, the design of the fabric being
hidden from the sightseer who had to wait for its completion before he
could estimate the beauty of the whole.   So it was in the case of these
two young men who had given up their lives for the protection of their
homes and the defence of liberty’.

Joseph served in England from 26th October 1914 until 17th May 1915 (204
days) and then with the British Expeditionary Force from 18th May 1915
until his death (227 days).   In all, Joseph had served a total of 1 year
and 66 days in the Army. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records his
death as 28th December 1915 however Army files record the date as 30th
December.  Medal Entitlement: 15 Star Trio.

Memorials found on:
Manchester Ship Canal
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