[Skip to content]

Person Details
Arthur was the son of George Towle and his wife Mary Towle nee Walton. George was born in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, in about 1862 (birth registered 1862 J/F/M Basford) and Mary Squires Walton in Rauceby, Lincolnshire, in 1861 (O/N/D Boston Lincolnshire). They were married on 29 January 1888 at St Matthias church, Sneinton (J/F/M Nottingham). They had at least five children: Rose Ethel b. 11 June 1890 (J/A/S Nottingham) bap. St Matthias 29 October 1890, Ernest b. 23 August 1892 (J/A/S Nottingham), Arthur b. 1894 (O/N/D Nottingham), William b. 1897 (J/A/S Nottingham) and Ivy b. 1899 (J/A/S Nottingham). In 1891 George (28) a general labourer, and Mary (28) were living on Hartford Terrace, Hartford Street, Nottingham, with their daughter Rose (u/1). By 1901 they had moved to Eyres Gardens, Sneinton. George (39) was working as a county court bailiff. He and Mary (39) now had five children: Rose (10), Ernest (8), Arthur (6), William (3) and Ivy (1) George Towle probably died aged 45 in 1908 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1911 the widowed Mary (48), a charwoman, was living at 46 Randolph Street, Nottingham. Only four of her five children were in the home on the night of the census: Rose (20) a lace finisher, Arthur (16) a draper's errand boy, William (13) a printer's errand boy, and Ivy (11) who was still at school. The youngest child, Ivy, died aged 14 in 1913 (O/N/D Nottingham). Mary Towle later lived at 35 Hogarth Street Carlton, Nottingham. Of Arthur's surviving siblings: Rose married Bernard Chambers (b. 28 June 1890) in 1914 (O/N/D Basford). In 1939 at the time of the 1939 England & Wales Register they were living at West End Avenue, Bingham, Nottinghamshire. Bernard was a roadman for the county council. Also in the household was their son. Howard (b. 5 April 1926) who was still at school. Ethel died in 1944 (J/A/S Nottingham). Ernest probably married Clara Brown (b. 8 May 1890) in 1921 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1939 they were living at 50 Langdale Road, Nottingham. Ernest was a railway loader. Also in the household were their children Dorothy (b. 14 July 1923) [later Giles], who was employed in the tobacco industry, and Desmond E. (b. 2 March 1929) who was still at school. Ernest died aged 55 on 30 April 1948 (A/M/J Nottingham) and his widow later married Walter Salmon (1957 J/A/S Nottingham). William was working as a label printer when he was called up at the age of 18 years 237 days on 3 July 1916 and transferred to the Army Reserve the following day. He was mobilsed on 10 August 1916 and served in the Sherwood Foresters (58567) initially on home service and then in France from 3 December 1916 to 22 February 1917 he returned to the UK on 23 February 1917 and spent the period from 2-4 September in the Military Hospital Exeter sufering from nephritis. He was discharged from the Army on 21 September 1917 being no longer physically fit for War Service. He had served 1 year 87 days. War Badge no. 249971. He was discharged to his mother's home at 35 Hogarth Street, Carlton Road, Nottingham.
In 1911 he was a draper's errand boy.
27 May 1918
1439168 - CWGC Website
He was living in Nottingham when he enlisted in Nottingham
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Arthur served with the South Notts Hussars in the Middle East and was returning with his unit from Alexandria to Europe in the troop ship Leasowe Castle when it was sunk by a German submarine. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial. Egypt. This account is from a local resident posted on the Woodborough village website. The Hussars had been fighting in the Middle East and they were returning to France where they were to be re-formed as a machine gun company. Their new title was to be the South Notts Machine Gun Battalion. They were sent to Alexandria, Egypt, and had received orders to embark on a transport ship called the "Leasowe Castle" on 23th May 1918 ¹. On 27th May, the ship was struck by a torpedo with devastating results. A very detailed account of the fateful journey may be read in the historical records of the South Notts Hussars Yeomanry by G. Fellows. The "Leasowe Castle" was one of a convoy of six transporters and they were accompanied by a number of destroyers. The weather was good, the sea was calm and a brilliant moon shone in the night sky. At 1.30 am on May 27th 1918 when the ship was about 104 miles from Alexandria, the "Leasowe Castle" was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side. The engines were immediately stopped. The troops mustered to their stations, rolls were called, boats lowered and rafts flung overboard. The Japanese destroyer "R" stood by, while the remainder of the convoy continued on their journey at full speed. We are informed that perfect order was maintained on board, the men standing quietly at their stations as if on parade, while those detailed for the work assisted in lowering the boats. Lifeboats were launched in the course of forty five minutes and the rescue attempt continued smoothly. The "Leasowe Castle" remained fairly steady, though sinking a little at the stern, with a slight list to port. All of 'B' (Warwickshire Yeomanry) Company of the Battalion went over the port side and were picked up in the water. About 1.45am. HM sloop "Lily" appeared having turned back from the convoy to assist in the work of rescue. She ran her bows up to the starboard side of the "Leasowe Castle" and made fast, so that troops were able to pass quickly on board. Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer put up a smoke screen for protection. Suddenly about 3.00am a bulkhead in the aft part of the ship gave way, and with a loud noise the "Leasowe Castle" sank rapidly. The "Lily" had a narrow escape, as the hawsers connecting her with the sinking ship were cut with an axe just in time.
Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour', 5 February 1919: 'Towle. reported missing believed drowned, Private Arthur Towle, 1/1st South Notts Hussars, 35 Hogarth Street, now reported drowned May 27th, mother, sister Ethel [Rose Ethel], brothers Ernest, Willie.'
Remembered on