12 January 1916: Pte Arthur Swindlehurst

Arthur Swindlehurst was born in Skipton in 1893.

Location of Skipton in the north west of England (cc OpenStreetMap)

Arthur was the son of Edward Swindlehurst (a train driver) and Hannah Maria Swindlehurst.

In 1901, age 10, Arthur lived at home with his parents and siblings Amy (19), Edward (16), Thomas (10) and Alfred (8). His older siblings worked in a local mill. 

In 1911, age 20, Arthur was still at home with Amy, Thomas, Alfred and Alice. Arthur was a shoemaker before the Great War. 

Airdale Terrace, 1896 (c) Google Street View 2019

The family were living at 14, Airdale Terrace, Skipton, Yorkshire, at the time of Arthur's enlistment in May 1915. He arrived in France on 7 October 1915 as part of a reinforcement draft to replace heavy losses received at Loos.

Taking over trench-holding duties in the Armentieres sector from his arrival, Arthur was killed by shellfire around midnight on the night of 11/12 January 1916 without taking part in any major engagement.

Cité Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres. (c) CWGC 2022

He is buried at Cité Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres.

His Pension Card (above) contradicts the CWGC entry - his card giving the date of death as 11 January. Below is the corresponding Pension Ledger for Arthur's pension claim 

Pension Record Card

22319 Pte Arthur Swindlehurst, 13th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (No 2 Platoon, A Coy).

12 January 1916

Brothers Edward, Thomas and Alfred each enlisted, served and survived the war. 

Research by David O'Mara with additional research and images by Jonathan Vernon. 

Sources: The Western Front Association Pension Ledgers and Cards on Fold3 by Ancestry; England Census Returns 1901, 1911; UK, British World War I Army Service Records, 1914-1920; Commonwealth War Graves Commision