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Arthur White

Arthur WhiteGunner Arthur White, 152370, Royal Field Artillery, 'B' Battery, 10th Brigade

Arthur White was born in early 1881 the son of Seth Henry and Clara (nee Senior), who married in late 1876. Arthur was baptised at Ossett Holy Trinity on the 10th July 1881.

Arthur was their second son and in 1881 the family lived at Royds Lane, Ossett. This was the family home in 1891 and Seth, a manager at a rag warehouse, and his wife Clara now have four children: three boys and a girl, aged between 5 and 11. All of the family are Ossett born.

In 1901, the family address is Royds Mill Yard, Ossett. Seth is a mill manager and Arthur, now aged 20, has found work as a warehouseman. The eldest son, Senior White, born 1880, died aged 16 in 1896 and their youngest son, Clifford (born 1886) is at school. Arthur’s father, Seth Henry White, died in 1902, aged 46.

Arthur White married Ada Barnard on the 29th July 1905 at the New Wesleyan Chapel, Wesley Street Ossett. Arthur, an overlooker in a rag warehouse lives at High Street, Gawthorpe and Brighouse-born Ada, gives her address as Church Street, Ossett. In 1911, the couple are living at 35, Church Street, Ossett with their daughter, Nellie aged 3. Arthur’s widowed mother, Clara, and his brother, Clifford, a grocer’s assistant are living on Dewsbury Road, Ossett. They have two lodgers.

The "Ossett Observer" 1 had this obituary for Gunner Arthur White:

"Ossett Gunner's Fate - Yesterday (Friday) morning, a letter was received from an army officer at the front stating that Gunner Arthur White (37), R.F.A., whose wife and daughter reside at Rose-terrace, Church-street, Ossett, had been killed. It seems that on March 24th the battery to which Gunner White was attached had been shelled by the enemy for most of the day, and whilst he was assisting the cook to remove the cook-house to a better position he was hit by a shell and killed instantly. Deceased, who was highly respected, had been in the army for nearly two years and had experienced a good deal of fighting. He was employed as an overlooker at Messrs. Hanson and Wormald's mill, Gawthorpe. He was a Sunday school teacher and a former secretary of the Dewsbury-road Wesleyan Sunday School, with which he had been connected since boyhood. His brother Gunner Clifford White, R.G.A., is serving in France."

The army service record of Gunner Arthur White, of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery has not survived. His medal card records the award of the British and Victory Medals. He did not serve abroad before the 31st December 1915.

Arthur White died on the 24th March 1918 at the age of 37 years and is remembered on Bay 1 at the Arras Memorial, 2 Pas de Calais, France. The Arras Memorial is in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, which is in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle in the western part of the town of Arras. The cemetery is near the Citadel, approximately 2 kms due west of the railway station.

The French handed over Arras to Commonwealth forces in the spring of 1916 and the system of tunnels upon which the town is built were used and developed in preparation for the major offensive planned for April 1917.

The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918. Canadian and Australian servicemen killed in these operations are commemorated by memorials at Vimy and Villers-Bretonneux. A separate memorial remembers those killed in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917.

During the Second World War, Arras was occupied by United Kingdom forces headquarters until the town was evacuated on 23 May 1940. Arras then remained in German hands until retaken by Commonwealth and Free French forces on 1 September 1944. The 1939-1945 War burials number 8 and comprise 3 soldiers and 4 airmen from the United Kingdom and 1 entirely unidentified casualty. Located between the 2 special memorials of the 1914-1918 War is the special memorial commemorating an officer of the United States Army Air Force, who died during the 1939-1945 War. This special memorial, is inscribed with the words "Believed to be buried in this cemetery". In addition, there are 30 war graves of other nationalities, most of them German.

References:

1. "Ossett Observer", 6th April 1918

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site