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Arthur J Ireland


Arthur Ireland was born in the first quarter of 1889, in Widnes. He was the sixth child of William and Ann Ireland (née Johnson).

Early Life

In 1891, the family were living at 33 Moor Lane, in Widnes. Arthur had five older siblings: John (born in 1880); Richard (born in 1883); George (born in 1877); Edith (born in 1881) and Janet (born in 1885). The household was completed by the live-in servant, Margaret Wright (aged 17). His father, William, was employed as a Time Keeper at a chemical works

In 1901, the family were still living at the same address. Arthur now had a younger brother, called Hector (born in 1893). Their father was not recorded at that address on the night of the Census.

Chester College

In 1911, Arthur was recorded at Chester College as a Student Teacher. His mother, Ann, was still living at Moor Lane, together with Richard, Janet, George and Hector. George was employed as a Clerk, but the other three were all employed as Teachers.

Military Service

Arthur enlisted for service with the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on January 25, 1915 in Liverpool. The 5th (Reserve) Battalion, usually designated as 2nd/5th Battalion, had been formed in Liverpool in September 1914 as a second line Battalion. In 1915, it would have been mostly concerned with training recruits for further service with the frontline Battalions.

Arthur’s basic training period was a little over six months. Early in August 1915, he landed in France from Southampton, and after a brief spell at the Infantry Base at Rouen, he joined the 1st/5th Battalion King’s Liverpool on active service.

Lest We Forget

Arthur was wounded in action at Vernelles on November 18, 1915. He suffered gunshot wounds to his right thigh. He was admitted to Number 37 Field Ambulance on the same day and subsequently transferred to Number 1 Casualty Clearing Station at Chocques on November 19, where he died from his wounds on November 20. He is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery.

Post Mortem

Arthur’s medals (the 1914-15 Star and British War and Victory Medals) were sent to his mother, as was the balance of his army pay. His personal effects were also sent to her: his identity disc, wallet, letters, photos, knife, a copy of the New Testament, and a piece of shrapnel.