Gunner Arthur Baldwin
L/686 Royal Field Artillery
Killed in action 24th July 1917,
in Belgium, aged 21
Lived at 11 Briercliffe Rd. (formerly 18 Cotton St.)
Buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Belgium
Burnley Express 18th August 1917

 

 

Arthur was an only child and his death left his widowed father alone. Prior to enlisting in 1915 he worked in the Blacksmiths shop at Cheapside colliery. He arrived in France in January 1916 and was gassed the following June. He was killed at night alongside Gunner Edward Haworth, an Accrington man. He was connected to St Oswald's mission.

 

Arthur was a member of the Accrington and Burnley Howitzer Brigade which was formed in early 1915, with a recruiting area comprising of Accrington, Burnley, Colne, Haslingden and Nelson. They were raised following an invite to the Mayor of Accrington (Captain J Harwood ), to raise such a Brigade following his success in the formation of the Accrington Pals.
Within a few months the number of men required had been enlisted, this was regarded as a major achievement considering that so many local men had already joined the Accrinton Pals and that the physical standard of the men was considered to be higher with a minimum height for gunners of 5ft. 7in. and drivers 5ft. 3in.
After initial training the Brigade was sent to France in January 1916 as the 158th Brigade Ammunition Column attached to the 35th Division and served in France and Belgium throughout 1916 and 1917 at which point the Brigade appears to have been absorbed into other units.


FATHER LEFT ALONE
ONLY CHILD KILLED
(Burnley Express 18th August 1917)

By the death of his only child, Gunner Arthur Baldwin L686 R.F.A. , Mr. T. Baldwin, who was a widower, and who resides at 18 Cotton-street, is left alone. The sad news of his boys death was received this week, Gunner Baldwin having been killed in action on the 24th July. He was 21 years of age. Joining the R.F.A. on April 9th 1915, he went out in January 1916, to France, and though “gassed” in June last he never got a furlough all the time. Before enlisting he worked in the blacksmiths shop at Cheapside Colliery. He was connected with the St. Oswald’s Mission, Whittlefield.
The Rev. Charles Steer, chaplain, in a letter says : “ I write to you with a heavy heart about your boy. You doubtless know that his brigade had been in a very dangerous part of the line latterly, and he himself up with the guns. I was called to-day to take the funeral of two of them who were killed by a shell last night, and I grieve to say that your boy was one. I trust that the knowledge that he died at his post as a good soldier should , may be a comfort to you .”
The War Roll secretary of the Y.M.C.A. in London writes : “It is with deep regret that we received the sad news of the death of your son, and I write you on behalf of the Y.M.C.A. to express profound sympathy with you in your sorrow

 

 

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