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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Cement House Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle.
Person Details
19 Sep 1892
Mansfield Woodhouse Nottinghamshire
Arthur was the son of Henry and Sarah Ann Townroe (née Sansom). His father Henry was born in Mansfield Woodhouse on 3 July 1868, the son of Henry and Rebecca Townroe, and was baptised at St Edmund King and Martyr Mansfield Woodhouse on 7 August 1868. His mother, Sarah Ann Sansom, was also born in Mansfield Woodhouse in about 1868. Henry and Sarah Ann were married on 10 October 1890 at St Edmund King & Martyr Mansfield Woodhouse and had nine children, eight boys and one girl: Sydney b. 25 December 1890 (1891 J/F/M Mansfield) bap. St Edmund 11 February 1891), Arthur b. 19 September 1892 (O/N/D Mansfield) bap. St Edmund 19 October 1892, George b. abt 1894 bap. St Edmund 11 April 1894, William b. 1896 (A/M/J Mansfield) bap. St Edmund 29 April 1896, Henry b. 1900 (A/M/J Mansfield), Samuel b. abt. 1901, James b. abt. 1903/1904, Wilfred b. 1905 (J/A/S Mansfield) and Annie b. 1908 (O/N/D Mansfield). The seven eldest children were born in Mansfield Woodhouse and the two youngest in Blidworth. In 1901 Henry (32), a shepherd, and Sarah Ann (32) were living at Sherwood Cottage, Pump Hollow, Mansfield Woodhouse, with their five children, Sydney (10), Arthur (9), George (7), William (5) and Henry (under 1 year). Also in the household was a boarder, George Townroe (30 b. Mansfield Woodhouse), a gamekeeper. By 1911 Henry and Sarah were living at Lyndhurst Cottage, Blidworth, Mansfield, with seven of their children: George (16) and William (15) who were both farm labourers, Henry (10), Samuel (9), James (8), Wilfred (5) and Annie (2). Sidney (20), a sand quarry labourer, and Arthur (18), a farm labourer, were boarders living in the household of George and Mary Bartle at 7 Cavendish Street, Mansfield. Arthur had home leave in late 1918 and married Ellen Holmes at St Peter's, Mansfield, on 2 October 1918 (O/N/D Mansfield). Ellen may have married Bernard Lomas in 1926 (A/M/J Mansfield). The CWGC record gives Arthur's parents address as 'Berry Hill Cottage', Mansfield. However, in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Henry, a retired shepherd, and Sarah were living at 47 Mansfield Road, Mansfield Woodhouse. Henry probably died in 1950 (J/F/M Mansfield). Arthur's brothers, George and William, also served in the war. George was seriously wounded in 1918 and at the time of Arthur's death was being treated in hospital in Swansea. William was still serving in Fance when Arthur died.
He was a farm labourer in 1911
10 Nov 1918
4032540 - CWGC Website
Royal Marine Bn Royal Naval Division Royal Marine Light Infantry
1st Royal Marine Bn. Royal Naval Division (Transport Section) Arthur embarked with the RM Brigade (Portsmouth/2nd Bn Royal Marines) on 17 November 1914. He served in Egypt and also in Gallipoli (MEF Dardanelles) from 28 April1915 to 8 January 1916. He served in the MEF (Mesopotemia Expeditionary Force) from 9 January 1916 to 7 May 1916 then with the BEF in France from 12 April 1916. Arthur had home leave in October 1918 then on his return to France was wounded on 10 November, the day before the Armistice was signed. He died the same day at 150th RN Field Ambulance. His family was told in a letter that Arthur had been buried 'in a place called Asquillies, about seven or eight kilometres south of Mons.' The CWGC records his burial in Cement House Cemetery (ref. X.V.III).
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Though death divides fond memories cling' Mansfield Reporter, ‘Marriages’, 4 October 1918: ‘On the 2nd, inst., at St Peter’s Church, Mansfield, by the Rev. RHS Currey, Arthur Townroe to Ellen Holmes, both of Mansfield.’ (ww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘Deaths’, 29 November 1918: ‘Townroe. In loving memory of Driver A Townroe, RMLI, Transport section, died of wounds received in France November 10th, 1918, aged 26 years, after four yuears’ service. It is lonely here without you, And sad the weary way; Nor is the world the same to me, Since you were called away. Cherished memories; shattered hopes. From his loving wife Nellie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘Deaths’, 29 November 1918: 'Townroe. In loving memory of Driver A Townroe, beloved son of Mr and Mrs H Townroe, Lyundhurst, who died in France from wounds received November 10th, aged 26 years. Bitter the cup, the blow severe, To part with one we loved so dear; But God will link the broken chain, Closer when we meet again. From his sorrowing Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters [prob. inc. sisters-in-law].’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 29 November 1918: ‘Driver Townroe Killed. One Day Before Armistice Was Signed. One Of The Old ‘Contemptibles’. It is with deep regret and sympathy we have to record the death of Driver A. Townroe, RMLI, Transport Section, son of Mr and Mrs H Townroe, Lyndhurst, which occurred in France from wounds received on November 10th. He had seen much service, having joined the Colours September 21st, 1914, and was in the first landing in the Dardanelles and Egypt, Salonica, and in France 18 months. He was one of three brothers serving, George is in hospital at Swansea recovering from a severe wound in the head, and Willie is in France was was home on leave quite recently. The deceased was married on October 2nd. and much sympathy is felt for his wife in the sad loss she has sustained. Although nothing official is to hand the following letters have been received: 'Thursday, November 14th. Mrs A Townroe. Dear Madam, I am sorry to relate the last hours of your husband. When we picked him up we found there wasn’t much chance of life left in him, also the poor lad knew it himself. He told me he had only been married about six weeks, and if anything happened to him to look after his personal effects, I promised. I am pleased to say, he was not in much pain from the time he was hit, which would be about 12 o’clock (midday) Sunday, and he was conscious till 9 pm, when I noticed a great change in him,. He asked for a drink, and told me to write you. Then he asked to be moved, but never spoke again. We buried him with nine more men, and his officer, in a place called Asquillies, about seven or eight kilometres, south of Mons. Please accept my deepest sympathy, and also of my mates, in this your trouble. S/4016, Pte. F Murphy, 150th RN Field Ambulance, BEF, France. 'Dear Mrs Townroe. That I am writing this letter to you is one of the saddest experiences of my life. I am very sorry, indeed, to have to write and tell you that Arthur Townroe died after being wounded on the 10th November. It is useless me trying to write and tell you how we all sympathise with you, but I hae lost so many friends and so many of my men, whom I thought the world of during these four years o wa, that I can realise your feeling when you hear this sad news. Arthur was without doubt the best man we had in the transport, and it grieves me more than I can tell to know that I have lost him. I always looked upon him as a friend as far as it is possible between us in the army. It is when we have lost our best that we realise fully that God is working out His great plan, where we all have our work to do before we must in his glorious Kingdom appear. Arthur has done his share in the great plan, and we must do ours, and although the blow to us left behind is great, we must look to God and with His help, live our lives so that we may join those who have gone before us into the everlasting Kingdom, where pain and sorrow are gone for ever. Please write and let me know if I can be of any service to you, and accept my very sincere and deep sympathy. LR Lewis, Lieut., RM.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) WW1 Pension Ledgers: His wife Ellen was named.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Cement House Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle.
    Arthur Townroe - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Cement House Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle.
  • Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 29 November 1918 (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    Arthur Townroe - Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 29 November 1918 (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)