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  • Source Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-18 (on line)
Person Details
28 May 1896
Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire
Arthur Leslie was the son of William Berresford and Ada Elizabeth Rhodes (née Blore). His father William Berresford was born in Doncaster in 1863, the son of William Rhodes and his wife Elizabeth (née Berresford). His mother, Ada Elizabeth Blore, was born in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1865 (birth registered J/F/M). Ada married first George Huntley (b. 1865) at Hucknall General Baptist Church in 1887 (registered J/F/M) and they had had a daughter, Ada Lillian who was born in 1888 (registered J/F/M) but who died in 1893. William and Ada were married at Torkard Trinity Chapel, Hucknall, in 1891 (reg. A/M/J). They had five children: Edith Berresford b. 1892, William Oswald b. 1893, Albert Edgar b. 1894, Arthur Leslie b. 28 May 1896 and Francis Oliver b. 1902. At the time of the 1891 Census, shortly after their marriage, William, a fruiterer and confectioner, and his wife Ada were in lodgings in Brighton, Sussex, while Ada's daughter, Lillian Ada (3), was living in Hucknall Torkard probably in the care of a lodger, Sarah Asker. Lillian died two years later. By 1901, William, a dealer in 'glass china fancy' on his own account and working from home, his wife and their four children, Edith, William, Albert and Arthur, were living on Victoria Road, Carlton, Nottingham. The fifth child, Francis, was born the following year. William, now working as a joiner, and his wife were living at Sunny Mount, Westdale Lane, Mapperley, by 1911. All five children were living at home: Edith a shorthand typist and bookkeeper, William a joiner, Albert an electrician, Arthur a clerk and Francis who was still at school. Also in the household was Wililam's widowed mother, Elizabeth Rhodes. The family later moved to 'Hazelhurst', Westdale Lane, but were living on High Street, Hucknall, when Arthur was killed in 1917. Wiliam, a retired builder, and Ada were living at 'Sunnymount', Windmill Grove, Hucknall, when the England & Wales Register was compiled in 1939. William was still living at the same address when he died in November 1943. His widow Ada died in 1958.
Cashier's clerk, Boots Audit Department.
13 Dec 1917
3053492 - CWGC Website
Ship's Steward Assistant
Royal Navy
HMS Stephen Furness. An Armed Boarding Steamer, built in 1910 and operated before the war by Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Co. Ltd, Newcastle. Armed Boarding Steamers (armed merchant ships), controlled by the Admiralty, generally worked with Cruiser Squadrons and conducted inspections of neutral ships to enforce the blockade of Germany. Arthur Leslie joined the Royal Navy on 12 July 1915 on a 'Hostilities Only' engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Pembroke I, 12 July 1915-13 September 1915; HMS Mars, 14 September 1915-8 March 1916; Pembroke I, 9 March 1916-31 March 1916; HMS Stephen Furness, 1 April 1916-13 December 1917. His service record is annotated: 'NP 10596/1917 DD [Discharged Dead] 13 December 1917 Killed in Action.' HMS Stephen Furness was sailing from Lerwick to Liverpool for repairs when on 13 December 1917 she was torpedoed 15 miles WxN from Contrary Head Isle of Man by UB-64 (Kptlt Walter Gude). She was struck between the bridge and funnel and sank before lifeboats could be launched; 101 of her ship's company, including five Canadian Volunteer Reservists, were lost. Arthur's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. UB-64: commissioned 5 August 1917 and between 13 October 1917 and 21 September 1918 sank 29 ships, damaged four ships and took one ship as a prize. All the ships, with the exception of HMS Stephen Furness, were merchant ships/fishing vessels. The submarine surrendered on 21 November 1918 and was broken up at Fareham in 1921. Kptlt Walter Gude: U-71 20 April 1917-27 November 1917, UB-64 1 November 1917-25 January 1918, UB-89 25 February 1918-11 November 1918.
Two of Arthur's brothers also served in the war. Albert Edgar, an electrician, served in the Royal Navy from December 1915 (M17948, 'Hostilities Only' engagement). He first served at HMS Vernon and ships included HMS Royal Oak (June 1916-October 1916), HMS Blake (27 January 1917-20 March 1918) and his last ship, HMS Hecla (21 March 1918-28 February 1919). He was demobilized on 19 March 1919. William Oswald was in the Territorial Force but signed an agreement to serve outside the UK and served as a Driver (T4/244113), Army Service Corps: Home 17 November 1914-3 November 1915 (352 days). France 4 November 1915-21 January 1918 (2 years 79 days). Home 22 January 1918-3 February 1919 (1 year 13 days). He was demobilised at Clipstone Camp. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Inscription family headstone, Hucknall Cemetery: ‘In loving memory of William Rhodes who fell asleep in Jesus June (-) (-) aged 71 years. Also of Elizabeth Berresford Rhodes daughter of the above who passed away Feb 21st (-) aged 31 years. And Elizabeth, wife of the above, who died Jan 2nd (-) aged (-) years. Also [grandson] Arthur Leslie Rhodes S.S. of HMS Stephen Furness torpedoed Dec 13th 1917 aged 21 years.’ Boots 'Comrades in Khaki', March 1916, 'A Gallipoli Chronicle' (photograph): 'AL Rhodes, formerly of Boots Audit Department and now a gallant seafarer, has sent home the following striking account of affairs at the Gallipoli [when HMS Mars operated as a troopship, including the evacuation of Gallipoli].' The letter runs to three pages of the magazine. (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. RB.38) Boots ‘Comrades in Khaki’, April/May 1916, ‘By the Way’: ‘AL Rhodes, Ship’s Steward’s Assistant, who after a prolonged period of naval activity was granted a furlough of 16 days, spent the time with his parents at Nottingham, and cheered his old colleagues with his breezy presence. He speaks in glowing terms of life in the navy with its varied excitements, and its admixture of rough and smooth times. He has visited many ports, and enjoyed a fairly constant change of scene; he has experienced good and bad weather, hot and cold, and has passed through heavy times at the Dardanelles [HMS Mars]. Like so many of the boys he reports perfect health and added weight.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. RB,38) A Boots spokesperson commented 'Leslie was a good Christian lad. I always had great admiration for his manly upright character. The firm have lost a valuable and most promising employee.' Hucknall Dispatch 3 January 1918 Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour,' 28th December 1917: 'Rhodes. Lost at sea, through enemy action, on December 13th, 1917, Arthur Leslie Rhodes, acting ship's steward, third son of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Rhodes, 62, High-street, Hucknall, late “Hazelhurst,” Westdale-lane, Mapperley.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 28 December 1917: ‘Hucknall Hero’s Death. Arthur Leslie Rhodes, third son of Mr and Mrs WB Rhodes, of High-street, Hucknall, acting ship’s steward in HMS Stephen Furness, went down in the vessel with so many of his comrades. Before joining the navy in 1915 he was in the offices of Messrs. Boots, who wrote: ‘He was admired for his upright and manly character.’ The paymaster of his ship says of him: ‘He was one of the most popular chaps on the ship and everyone had a good word for him, and he was my right hand man, lotal, true and cheerful under any circumstances.’’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 29 December 1917: ‘Rhodes. Lost at sea through enemy action, December 13th, Arthur Leslie, the affectionate friend of Ivy and Dorothy Burton. He sleeps to wake. Philippians iv., 7, 8 and 9.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 29 December 1917: ‘Rhodes. Lost at sea, December 13th, Leslie, late of Westdale-lane, Mapperley. Will never be forgotten. Mr and Mrs George Burton.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Hucknall Dispatch, 3rd January 1918:- 'Ship's Steward Assistant Arthur Leslie Rhodes, R.N., was killed when his ship, H.M.S. Stephen Furness, was torpedoed in the Irish Sea on 13th December 1917. An anonymous officer from H.M.S. Stephen Furness wrote to his family. “He was my right-hand man. I never want a better man to with than your son; always loyal, true and very cheerful. I never saw him otherwise under any circumstances. He was one of the most popular chaps on the ship, and everyone had a good word for him. I did not myself see him from the time the ship was struck to the time she went down. The carpenter, who is also one of the few lucky survivors, could not say too much for your son, for he fulfilled his difficult job as a ship’s steward in a very satisfactory way to all concerned in the ship.”' Above courtesy Jim Grundy facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Beeston Gazette & Echo, 5 January 1918: ‘Boots Employee’, report of the death of Arthur Leslie Rhodes, HMS Stephen Furness, with photograph. The report included the information that Arthur ‘enlisted in the Navy when 19 years of age for the term of the war, spending six months in the Mediterranean on HMS (-) which brought the last men away from the Dardanelles.’ It also reported that ‘Mr and Mrs Rhodes have two other sons in hourly peril, the eldest being William Oswald Rhodes, aged 24, in France, and the second son, Albert Edgar Rhodes, aged 23, on HMS Manners.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The same edition of the newspaper included a family notice in the columns of the ‘’Roll of Honour.’
Remembered on


  • Source Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-18 (on line)
    - Source Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-18 (on line)
  • Rhodes family grave and headstone which also commemorates Arthur Leslie Rhodes (Hucknall Cemetery). Photograph Murray Biddle.
    Arthur Leslie Rhodes - Rhodes family grave and headstone which also commemorates Arthur Leslie Rhodes (Hucknall Cemetery). Photograph Murray Biddle.
  • Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
    Arthur Leslie Rhodes - Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.