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Person Details
Morton Lincolnshire
Arthur was the son of William Robert (CWGC: Robert William) and Anne (also 'Annie') Free. His father was born in Suffolk and was a coachman (domestic), his mother was born in Yorkshire. They had at least four children: Alice M., Eliza Ann, Clara Agnes and Arthur Stephen b. 1875 (registered O/N/D Gainsborough). The family was living at 5 Wragby Road, Lincoln, in 1881, having moved from Surrey (1871) but by 1891 were living The Temple Stables, Nuthall, Nottingham, where William was a domestic coachman and Arthur (15) a coachman's assistant, presumably working with his father. Also in the household on the night of the census were William's wife and daughter, Clara (16). By 1901 William and his wife were at 290 Woodborough Road, Nottingham. Also in the home on the night of the census were their daughters, Eliza (28) a machinist, Clara (25) of no occupation and Arthur (23), together with a two-year old granddaughter, Dorothy Free, and a niece, Ida Atkinson (12). William Robert Free died in 1917 (Jun Nottingham) aged 71 and his widow in 1927 (Sep Nottingham) aged 79. Arthur married Annie Setchell (b 1877, A/M/J St Ives Huntingdonshire) at Emmanuel Church, St Ann's, Nottingham, on 18 September 1901. They had four children of whom only three survived: Annie Vera b. 27 July 1903, Jessie b. 19 April 1905 and Kathleen Mary b. 20 March 1911. In 1911 Arthur, a domestic coachman, and Annie were living at 39 Linden Street, Sycamore Road, St Ann's, Nottingham, with their three daughters, Annie Vera (7), Jessie (5) and Kathleen Mary (under 1m.) who at the time of the census had not been named. The family was still living at 39 Linden Street at the time of Arthur's death in 1919. His wife, Annie, never remarried and probably died in 1964 (Sep Nottingham) at the age of 87. Of Arthur's daughters: Annie Vera married Ernest A Holton in 1928 (J/A/S Nottingham). She died on 298 November 1993 (December Basford) at the age of 90. According to the Probate record she was living at 2 Somersby Road, Mapperley at the time of her death. Jessie married Frank Cliffe in 1932 (J/F/M Nottingham) and died at the age of 89 in 1994 (death registered April Market Harborough). Kathleen Mary married David W Giltrow in 1937 (J/M/M Nottingham) and died at the age of 88 in 1999 (death registered May Leicester).
He was a domestic coachman on leaving school but gave his occupation as chauffeur when he attested in 1915. The notice of his death in the local paper gave the information that he had been chauffeur to R. Wilkinson of Magdala Road, Mapperley Park, for 17½ years.
10 Mar 1919
473614 - CWGC Website
39 Linden Street, Nottingham
Army Service Corps
Private Arthur Stephen Free, served with the 689th Motor Transport Company Army Service Corps. He attested at the age of 38 on 27 October 1915 and served at home from 27 October until 18 October 1916 when he embarked onboard 'Nirvana' at Southampton for the start of a three week journey to Salonika: disembarked at Le Havre 20 October 1916, embarked 'Caledonia' at Marseille 24 October 1916, disembarked Malta 11 November 1916, embarked 'Tunisian' at Malta 13 November 1916 finally disembarking in Salonica on 17 November 1916. The documents in Arthur's Army Service Record are not very clear, but he appears to have served in Salonika until his death there from smallpox on 10 March 1919. He is buried in Skopje British Cemetery.
Personal inscription on CWGC headstone: 'Loved by all' Obituary published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 22nd March 1919 :- “FREE. – On March 10th, in Uskub, Salonika, of smallpox, after 2½ years overseas without leave. Pte. A. S. Free, aged 41, the dearly-loved husband of Annie Free, 39 Linden-street; previous was 17½ years chauffeur to R. Wilkinson, Esq., Magdala-road. Gone, but not forgotten. – From his sorrowing wife, children, mother, sister, and sister-in-law Kate.” Above obituary courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Payments were made to his widow Annie (£12 2s. 2d) and his daughter Annie Vera (£8 1s. 6d), together with a payment for the other children (£16 3s.).
Remembered on