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Walter Arnold

Date of birth: 1894
Date of death: 10.6.1915
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of Alfred and Mary Ann Arnold of Springfield View, Wrenthorpe
Rank: Private
Service number: 2786

War Service

Walter enlisted at Wakefield as Private 2786 in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1st/4th Battalion. He died of wounds received on 10th June 1915 and is buried at Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery. The war diaries of the 1st/4th Battalion have an entry for May 31st to June 23rd stating -
“Nothing of interest to record during this period, except that Headquarters no 6 section were shelled by the enemy practically every day – many of these shells were blind – on one occasion as much as 50%. During this period our total casualties amounted to: died of wounds 1; wounded 7”.
On June 19th the Wakefield Express reported his death
Mr Alfred Arnold, of Springfield View, Wrenthorpe, received an intimation on Saturday from Captain J T Critchley that his son Private Walter Arnold of the W Company, 1st 4th Battalion KOYLI, had been wounded on June 9th. The Captain in the course of his letter stated:
“I very much regret to inform you that your son was hit by a stray shot last evening and seriously wounded whilst getting his tea. He was immediately attended to and conveyed to our regimental dressing room. His removal from the company is much regretted by myself and his comrades. He (?) the type one most desires and his steadiness and zeal have gained for him respect from all who knew him.”
On Monday Mr Arnold received a sympathetic letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Haslegrave stating that Private Arnold succumbed to his wound in the field hospital on June 10th and that he was buried in a little cemetery behind the firing line.
Arnold was 23 years of age and at the time of his enlistment worked at Wrenthorpe Colliery.
A memorial service will be held tomorrow evening at Wrenthorpe Church.”
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Family Life

Walter Arnold, child of Arnold and Mary Ann was born in Wrenthorpe according to the Censuses. I cannot find a Walter in the official birth records but I did find a George Arnold who was born on November 7th 1894 to Alfred and Mary Jane Arnold and baptised at St Mary Magdalene at Outwood on July 31st 1896. The family were said to live at Lingwell Gate Lane and Alfred was a bricklayer. The next child to be baptised was Charlotte who was born in 1897 (in the 1901 Census she is named as Emma so perhaps they renamed both children!).
By the 1901 Census they were living on Bradford Road with father Alfred now a miner and said to have been born in Peckham, London. They had four children – John aged 9, Walter aged 7, Emma aged 5 and Edwin aged 10 months.
Ten years later they were living at 5, Springfield Terrace, Wrenthorpe. According to this census Alfred and Mary Jane have had 10 children of which 8 have survived. John William (19) and Walter (18) are coal trammers, Emma (15) is a mill girl and Edwin (10), Sarah (9), Albert (7) and Laura (4) were still at school. There was also a one-year old baby Edith. The last two children were both baptised at St Anne’s Church with Laura born on 13th November 1906 and baptised on 26th January 1907 and Edith born on 27th January 1910 and baptised 23rd February. In both records Alfred is said to be a miner living in Wrenthorpe with the latter record specifying Bragg Lane End.

Photo of Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery. Rows of white headstones in front of 2 walls with more headstones and a white cross monument behind. Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery

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