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Person Details
09 Aug 1880
He was the son of Maximillian Wates Horlock of 402 Alfreton Road Nottingham.
“Arthur Horlock was a respected member of the teaching staff. Appointed to the Woolwich Polytechnic Secondary School as Mathematical Master in 1905, he was Senior Mathematical Master when he left to join the forces in Easter of 1916. He was the only full-time Polytechnic teacher to be killed in the War. He was born at Llantwit Major, Glamorgan, South Wales in 1880, and was educated at the People’s College Nottingham, gaining a scholarship which took him to the High School. At the age of 17 he obtained an ‘exhibition’ to Oxford (Merton College), where he graduated. He joined the Polytechnic in 1905 after early teaching experience at Kivernell’s College, Hampshire, and George Green School, Poplar. He married his cousin—a former pupil of the Secondary School—Jesse Davis, ‘on the eve of the war’, and they had a child (WPM Oct 1917, p. 1). He lived in Blackheath. His application to be given leave to join the forces was submitted to the Education Committee of the Polytechnic in a letter dated 4th April, and was accepted and noted in the minutes of a meeting held the next day. His death was recorded by the same Committee on July 17th 1917, following the receipt a letter from his wife, dated July 10th. His departure from Polytechnic life was noted by the Woolwich Polytechnic Magazine for October 1916, which reported, under the title ‘Secondary School Notes’, that: ‘we have seen some of our masters leave us to serve their King and Country—Mr Horlock, Mr Clarke, Mr Leather and Mr Jackson’ (WPM Oct 1916, p. 7). The same issue recorded: ‘a flying visit from Mr Horlock and Mr Leather before they went up to Edinburgh to join their unit’ (p. 9).
03 Jul 1917
28729 - CWGC Website
9th Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
G/49760, Private, 9th Platoon, ‘C’ Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (WPM May 1917, p. 27; SD vol. 12; MIC). He enlisted At Greenwich, and was formerly Stk/2529, 31st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (SD vol. 12). Mr Horlock wrote to the School, as recorded in the Woolwich Polytechnic Magazine, in May 1917 (p.16), ‘thanking the boys for gifts of tobacco and pipes’. He was killed in action, in France, on July 2nd, 1917, whilst performing sentry duty.
Arthur Horlock’s death was briefly reported in the Kentish Independent and Kentish Mail for July 20th 1917 under the title: ‘On the Western Front. Death of Mr Arthur Horlock’, the report was provided by the ‘Tutorial staff of the Woolwich Polytechnic’, who stated that: ‘It is with feelings of deep regret that we announce the death, which occurred on July 2nd on the Western Front, of our friend and colleague...We feel sure that his loss will be equally felt outside the Polytechnic, for he was well-known and most popular not only in Woolwich, but also in the neighbourhood’. It was also recorded in the Woolwich Polytechnic A.C. Notes of the same local paper on July 27th 1917: ‘The death of Mr Horlock...has far-reaching effects which extend directly to the Athletic Club. Mr Horlock at all times took a lively interest in the development of sport among the day school boys and was responsible thereby for the initial training of many of the Club’s most efficient members’. A fuller obituary, dedicated poem and photograph were published in the October issue of the Woolwich Polytechnic Magazine, under the title: ‘A.I.W. Horlock, 1880-1917’. It reported: ‘On July 2nd 1917, Mr Horlock was killed in action on the Western Front. He was performing sentry duty and death was instantaneous. Familiar as we are, in these sad days, with loss and suffering of War, this news coming just before we broke up for the holidays, cast a gloom over the whole Polytechnic.’ The piece extorted his virtues; his musical talent, his versatility, fair-mindedness and patience. ‘Pacific in disposition, and philosophic in his detachment from everything appertaining to violence and hate he, nevertheless, offered his services voluntarily to his country and enlisted with Mr Leather as a private foot-soldier in a line regiment—the Royal Fusiliers. After three months training he went to France and saw a good deal of fighting in the lines as they moved on over the old battle-fields of the Somme.’ Mr Leather himself was quoted: ‘His patriotism was great then, but the hardships and dangers of war have only served to increase it. He has seen much more of these than I, as after being wounded, I found that those with him had been through six weeks of the most bitter fighting—such as I’d never seen.’ His army name was Jim: ‘Jim was lion-hearted and scorned ever to shew the least fear. Many people told me of his wonderful determination to ‘stick it’. The piece finished: ‘So perished, in his country’s cause, a brave and good man, the memory of whom will not readily die. He is the first of the Polytechnic teachers to lay down his life for his country’. A dedicated poem accompanied the piece: In Memoriam. A.I.W.H. He died a death that we, who knew him well’ Might envy, for he died as heroes should, Fighting for Right and Justice; thus he fell Dow’ring his native land with his life’s blood. He was not one to choose the path of War, For all his life in peaceful ways he spent. The call of duty sounded from afar— He knew his Country needed him—and went. In the long nights beneath the starry dome, Amidst the roar and rattle of the guns, He thought of us and those he’d left at home, We thought of him as one of Britain’s sons. We know not how he fell—we have not seen That thin and dwindling line that held so fast, But mid the Khaki waves that swept Messines, We know he did his duty to the last. Honour to him whose final task is done— Kind thoughts for those who for his loss must weep: His crown of faithful service has been won— Loyal and true he goes to his last sleep. And though he rests far from his native land, ‘Neath stranger soil, unknown to the World renown, Methinks God led him home with gentle hand. And placed upon his brow the hero’s crown. —F.C.E. Arthur Horlock’s death was commented on elsewhere in the same issue of the Woolwich Polytechnic Magazine. In the ‘Athletic Club Notes’, dated July 27th, it was explained that: ‘Mr Horlock, the popular master in the Secondary School, who was reported killed on active service last week has far reaching effects which extend directly to the Athletic Club. Mr Horlock at all times took a lively interest in the development of sport amongst the day school boys, and was responsible thereby for the initial training of many of the Club’s most efficient members.’ (WPM Oct 1917, p. 7). On page 18 it was reported that: ‘It will interest past members of the School....to hear that we are perpetuating the memory of our late master, Mr Horlock...by the institution of the ‘Horlock Swimming Challenge Cup’ to be held annually...’. In the ‘House Notes’ (p. 24) it was recorded that: ‘a great blow fell on the [blue] House through the death, in action, of our old House master, Mr Horlock...In his last letter his message to Blue was ‘Play the Game’...’. Private Horlock is buried at Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux, near Arras, France, in Plot I, Row F, Grave 6. This cemetery is situated close to the A1 autoroute, yet it is at peace. It is small, but has a beautiful classical arcade, and it has been in the news for the recent burial of several of Arthur Horlock’s fellow Royal Fusiliers, killed in the Battles of Arras and discovered eighty years later during construction of the autoroute. Private Horlock’s grave is simply marked—with no epitaph—a sad memorial to one of the Woolwich Polytechnic’s brightest stars. He is also commemorated on the Woolwich Hospital War Memorial Roll of Honour.”
Remembered on


  • Courtesy Simon Williams -