Arthur Head – War Casualty

Menin Gate

Arthur Head is my first cousin, four times removed. He was born circa 1885 in March, Cambridgeshire and according to the 1901 Census was a Tailor’s Apprentice and lived at Park Road, Milnthorpe, Westmorland. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Arthur was a member of the 2nd Btn Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who in November 1914 were part of the defensive force positioned east of Ypres, attempting to stop further advances by the German forces. The British 1st Division, which included the Dukes, were confronted by 4 Btns of the German Grenadiers who were advancing through Polygon and Nonne Bosschen woods, (Nuns Copse) north of Gheluvelt village. On this front north and south of the Dukes, the British forces numbering 7800 men were confronted by 25 battalions of Germans totalling 17500 infantry.

Fighting was fierce and by midnight of the 11th the Duke of Wellingtons had lost 380 soldiers of on original figure of 826 rank and file, many killed during continuing bombardment from the Germans.

Menin Gate

Arthur’s body was never found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate inYpres. The Memorial now bears the names of more than 54000 officers and men who have no known grave, and chosen in its present location because of the hundreds of thousands of commonwealth soldiers who marched that way through Ypres on their way to the many battle fronts.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 03/01/2010 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 11/05/2011.