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Arthur Lumley

Date of birth: 30.11.1921
Date of death: 27.3.2001
Area: Castleford
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Family information: Husband of Dorothy Violet (nee Higgins) of 240 Fryston Road, Airedale, Castleford
Rank: Sapper
Service number: 2158598

War Service

Arthur enlisted in the Royal Engineers on the 23rd April 1942 aged 20. He was 5 ft 8¼ ins(he later grew to 6 ft ).blue eyes, brown hair, with a curved scar to his upper lip. He was a Tube Drawer by trade. He was with the Training Battalion of The Royal Engineers OCB Company 5.
He was mustered from that regiment on 6th May 1942 to the Pioneer as a Sapper and took on the trade as a riveter. 10th August 1942 he moved to the Railway Workshop at Blacon, Cheshire, with one stripe but later it was removed on reassignment.
From 17 October to 7 December 1942 he was working on Railway Surveys and in February of the following year (1943) was posted to No 2, Mid Port Authority.
From March to May of 1943 he was with HR Civil Engineers as a Supply Labour Riveter and on the 18 June he moved with the Royal Engineers to Port Construction and Maintenance.
On the 26 June 1943 he was “taken on strength”, embarked to Sicily with the British North Africa Force and disembarked 23 days later. He was admitted to hospital on the 16 April 1944 with malaria, and, as he put it “he lost over 3 weeks of his life” as he was in a fever and did not know what was happening. He was discharged from hospital on 9 May, however, he was again admitted to hospital on 8 June 1944 and discharged again on 17 June 1944 SOS and RTU, which means that he was struck off strength and returned to his unit.
During his time abroad he would send home money orders to his parents, he was limited to the amount he could send. However whilst in Italy he developed a love of classical music. He would go, whenever he could to Rome, stay in hotels and explore the city, go to Milan and listen to the opera. He developed a love of Italy, where he met and made friends with an Italian girl called Maria. He brought many photographs back of the old parts of Rome which he had purchased. He also went to visit the Church of Bari and purchased a small gold medallion and chain with the Church of Bari on one side and St Nicholas on the other, which he later gave to his future wife, Dorothy. He tour of duty lasted 3 years and 125 days in Italy and returned on the 15 December 1945 disembarking at Folkstone.
He was granted 28 days Home Leave on the 16 December 1945. During the first few months of 1946 he lodged with a Mrs Leslie at 1 Freemantle Terrace in Ripon.
He must have remained in the army, because on 27 September 1946 he was confined to Barracks for 7 days and forfeited 3 days pay for having a dirty towel. He proceeded on Release Leave on 2 November 1946 and released to Class Z (T) Royal Army Reserve on 6 February 1947.
He worked at the Ministry of Supply Depot at Helsby, near Warrington in January and February 1948 and then worked in March and April 1948 to the Ministry of Supply Depot, Eastriggs, Annan in Dunfrieshire, Scotland.
He was awarded the Italy Star on 10 May 1944 and was also awarded the George VI War medal and George VI Star.
He was placed on Reserve until 1959.
On his Notification of Impending Release in Naples he was given the following reference:
“This man has proved to be a most loyal and respectful solider. He is a very good general sapper, conscientious and hardworking. He is a willing and trustworthy worker, cheerful and of sober habits.”

Family Life

Arthur was born 30 November 1921 at 1 Nelson Street, Castleford to father, Percy Lumley and mother, Mary Ann Lumley (formerly Stead). He later moved to 27 Merewood Road, Three Lane Ends, Castleford, with his parents, two brothers and two sisters, where he attended both Three Lane Ends School and the Potteries School.
After the war he worked at the Yorkshire Copper Works in Leeds where he met he wife, Dorothy Violet Higgins. He married her on 18 April 1949 at St Michael’s Church, Smawthorne Lane, Castleford and it certainly was a white wedding in every sense of the word, has it snowed that day. They had 2 children, a boy and girl.
He went to work as a builder and helped to build the school on Crèwe Road, Airedale (which is still standing).
In October 1974 he developed diabetes whilst in Pontefract General Infirmary and was paralysed from the waist down. He was transferred to Pinderfields General Hospital where, through his own determination and the doctors and nursing staff, he recovered from the paralysis and was able to walk again, first with 2 walking sticks and later with just one. He was working at this time at the United Glass Works at Castleford where he retired early on medical grounds.
He continued throughout his life to have short bouts of malaria.
He always wanted to go back to Italy, with Dorothy, but never made it, but he instilled his daughter with a desire to visit Italy. He died on 27 March 2001 of kidney and heart failure.

Arthur Lumley in his army uniform Arthur Lumley

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