Arthur Rhodes (1889-1916)

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This page is part of a project by David Verguson to research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the Lindley area.

Biography

In 1891 and 1901 the Rhodes family lived in Wellington Street. William and Ellen had ten children all of whom had survived. Arthur was 2 years old in 1891 and one of the nine children still living at home.

Arthur attended Oakes Council School and was good enough to go on to the Huddersfield Higher Grade School on New North Road.

William was "Power Loom Tuner" then later was a weaver. The wages of a weaver must have been a little stretched to support a large family but the first were out at work by the time the last were arriving. And the eldest two, Ernest and Ada had moved out by 1901 and 1911, presumably to marry and set up their own homes.

In 1901 every family member who worked was employed in textiles mainly as weavers. But in 1911 some of the family were going in other directions: Fred was a grocer's assistant and Rhoda was an assistant teacher. Interestingly, Amy was described, at 19, as a "student" so one can only wonder what became of her. Arthur worked as a "warehouseman".

The Rhodes had also moved house by 1911: they were living in a seven-roomed house, 9 Crosland Road.

In all, William and Ellen had been married 41 years by 1911 and Ellen had given birth to ten children, all of whom had survived.

Arthur enlisted in the 1/5th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment, on 16 February 1916 and given his low number, probably before he was conscripted.

The 1/5th travelled to France on 14th April 1915 as part of the 49th (West Riding) Division, the same division in which many other Lindley men were serving. Arthur probably joined the battalion as a replacement.

Arthur must have known Eric Kelsall and Fred Durrans, who both served in the 1/5th Battalion and also lived in Wellington Street. Eric died in the July 1916. Fred was wounded in the same action as Arthur and died eleven days later.

Arthur died in the later stages of the Battle of the Somme in the failed attack on the Schwaben Redoubt that claimed the lives of many Lindley men.

Arthur is remembered in St. Stephen's church and on the memorial at the Oakes Baptist Church.

It seems likely that Richard and Fred Rhodes also served in the Great War but fortunately survived, though if they did serve, their names are not included on the Roll of Honour at the Oakes chapel.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

RHODES, ARTHUR. Private. No 141480. 1/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Oakes, Huddersfield, 2.1.1889. Son of William Harry and Ellen Rhodes, 9 Crosland Road, Oakes. Educated Oakes Council School and Higher Grade School, New North Road, Huddersfield. Employed as a warehouseman. Single. Enlisted 16.2.1916. Reported wounded and missing in the attack on the Schwaben Redoubt, 3.9.1916 and afterwards presumed to have been killed on that date, aged 27. Has no known grave. Commemorated THIEPVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
ROH:- Oakes Baptist Church; St. Stephen's Church, Lindley; Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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