Date of birth: 1889
Date of death: 23.7.1916
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of Louisa Ives nee Ogden
Service number: 2731
Arthur enlisted with the KOYLI 1st/4th Battalion as Private 2731 and according to the Medal Rolls Index Card arrived in France on 13th April 1915. He was killed according to military records on 23rd July 1916. The Wakefield Express had the following report on August 26th 1916:
“Mrs A Ives of Bunker’s Hill Wrenthorpe received information on Tuesday that her husband Private Arthur Ives Wakefield Territorials was killed in action on July 27th. Previous to enlisting he worked at Wrenthorpe Colliery. He was 27 years of age and leaves a widow and four children.”
Despite the military records the family obviously believed that he died on the 27th as it was repeated in a memorial that Louisa put in the paper. Reading the battalion war diaries, they were in the “Somme Area Thiepval” when at 10pm on 22nd July 1916 they received orders to make an attack at 2.30am. The attack proved to be fairly disastrous with the account for 23rd stating:
“The attack was met by rifle fire and a barrage of shrapnel and attacking party suffered heavy casualties in crossing No Man’s Land. On arrival at the German lines the enemy were found to be in force and owing to casualties sustained the party was too weak to put up a fight and had to withdraw.”
The casualties on that fateful night were “Other Ranks 6 Killed; 60 wounded.” For the rest of the month there were no deaths and 24 wounded, so it seems likely that Arthur was killed on 23rd.
Arthur is remembered on the Thiepval memorial as well as the Wrenthorpe Colliery Memorial and the Memorial at St Anne’s Church. The Register of Soldiers’ Effects lists next of kin as his widow Louisa and he was awarded the 14/15 Star as well as the Victory and British War Medals.
Arthur Ives was born on 7th February 1889 and baptised at St Paul’s Church, Alverthorpe on the 3rd April the same year. His parents were James and Anne and James was a carter. James, who had been born about 1865, had married Annie Hawkes in 1888 at St Paul’s Church, Alverthorpe.
By the 1891 census they had had a second child, Emma, who was born on 29th October 1890 and the family were living in Light Lane, Alverthorpe. Sadly Emma died later that year aged just 9 months.
They were living in Union Square, Alverthorpe in 1901 and the census reveals the births of Jane in 1894, Annie in 1899 and Elizabeth in 1901. James was now a coal leader, however he was apparently not a good father or husband. He was imprisoned eleven times between 1887 and December 1906 for assault, drunkenness and neglect of his family. He was so well known to the courts that in December 1906 he made it into the West Riding and Yorkshire Calendars of prisoners. This printed book records him as an “incorrigible rogue” and states that although he was able to work and support his family, he failed to do so which led to his daughter Jane becoming “chargeable to the Wakefield Poor Law”. It also states he had previously been “convicted as a rogue and a vagabond”. I think it can be assumed that Arthur did not have the best of childhoods.
On the 2nd August 1909 Arthur was at St Paul’s Alverthorpe to marry Louisa Ogden. Arthur was 20 years old and a miner whilst Louisa was only 17 and from Wrenthorpe.
In the 1911 census they were living at Bunker’s Hill and they had a daughter Elizabeth born 9th December 1909 and baptised at Wrenthorpe Chapel on 20th April the following year. They had a further three children – Gilbert (b1911), Harold (b1913) and Arthur (b1915).