Arthur Ernest Williamson

Lance Corporal

West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) 12959 9th Battalion

Derbyshire Courier 8 March 1916


newspaper photo of Arthur Ernest Williamson

Notes
Arthur was born at Crich in 1890, and before the start of the war he worked as a husbandsman in Huddersfield, where he enlisted in August 1914. He entered France in July 1915 and was killed in action shortly after on 2nd March 1916 aged twenty- three. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Newspaper report

Derbyshire Times 18 March 1916
FRITCHLEY MAN KILLED
On Friday last week Mr and Mrs Wm. Williamson, farmers at Fritchley, received a letter informing them that their son Lance-Corpl. Signaller Arthur Ernest Williamson of the 9th Duke of Wellington had fallen in action, although this has not yet been confirmed by the War Office. He was 23 years of age, single and was educated at Fritchley School. About twelve years ago he went to work at the farm of the late Mr John Sadler in Yorkshire. Later he worked at a brickyard, also in Yorkshire. He attended evening classes and was successful in winning a scholarship for the Leeds University. Just prior to enlisting he obtained a post connected with cattle diseases at Heanor. He paid a visit to his home in December last on eight days furlough. He enlisted on the 31st August 1914 and had nine months training, after which he went to Flanders, being there eight months altogether. He was killed by a shell in the trenches. He was held in high esteem by his comrades and officers as can be seen by the following and other letters which have been received by his parents:– “Dear Mrs Williamson, it is with the deepest sorrow and regrets that I write this letter to inform you of the very sad news of your son’s death, which occurred on Thursday, March 2nd during a heavy bombardment by the enemy. We all miss him very much as he was always so cheerful and willing. As for his work, I cannot praise it enough. His courage and fearlessness in the presence of great danger were a fine example to the other men. I may also add that he was on the verge of getting full corporal’s stripes and I shall have the greatest difficulty in replacing him. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your very sad bereavement – Yours sincerely, R Dawes, 2nd Lieut. 9th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.”

Derbyshire Courier
18 March 1916
Crich NCO Killed
A Fearless Soldier

Crich parish mourns the loss of another of its sons this week, news having been received by Mr and Mrs Wm. Williamson, of Fritchley, that their son, Lance Corporal Arthur E Williamson, had been killed by a shell in the trenches in France. The intimation was conveyed in a letter sent by the sergeant of his company, the signalling section, and bears eloquent testimony to the fine qualities displayed by Lance Corporal Williamson. Dated 4 March, the message reads: "I think this will be the hardest epistle I have ever sat down to write as it is to inform you kindly how your brave son met his end. It was during the most terrible bombardment that we had ever been in the midst of that it happened. Your boy, Arthur, was taking shelter in a trench when a large shell burst overhead and he was fatally hit. I assure you that he suffered no pain whatsoever as his end was mercifully instantaneous. His loss is most keenly felt by the officers and men of his company and very much felt by our signalling section, as we nearly worshipped him for his fearless and brave actions during any fighting we have taken part in. His last resting place will be marked by a little wooden cross and he is buried side-by-side with several more brave lads who like your son have made the supreme sacrifice for their King and country. I will be pleased to send you any further information which you may desire and which may help to console you in your great loss, which I know you deeply feel. I will conclude with deepest sympathy for myself and everyone of his devoted chums who deeply mourn and regret the loss of one of the best and bravest lads that ever lived, fought and died on the vast battlefield of Flanders. (Signed) Sergean G England."
Further details are given in another letter received by Mr and Mrs Williamson the writer Second Leutenant B. Dacre, also speaking in the highest terms of their sons character. The letter dated 5 March, states: "It is with deepest sorrow and regret that I write this letter to inform you of the sad news of your son's death on Thursday 2 March, in a heavy bombardment by the enemy. We all miss him very much as he was always so cheerful and willing. As for his work I cannot praise it enough. His courage and fearlessness in the face of great danger was a fine example to the other men. I may also say he was on the verge getting full corporal stripes, and I shall have the greatest difficulty in replacing him."
Lance Corporal Williamson was born the old police station, Crich, 25 years ago, his father being the police-officer for Crich. Always possessed with a desire for self-improvement he was of a studious nature, and after passing through the Fritchley School, he moved to Denby Dale Yorkshire and here whilst employed by the late Mr John Sadler, a prominent agriculturist, he attended the continuation classes and was successful in winning a Leeds University scholarship. Afterwards at Heanor he passed a Civil Service examination under the cattle diseases department. Immediately war broke out he joined the 9th Duke of Wellington West Riding Regiment, and went to France the following July. When over on leave just before Christmas he stated that he had several narrow escapes in the firing line.

Derbyshire Courier
18 March 1916
KILLED
Lance Corporal A.E. Williamson, Crich

Medal Roll Index Cards

He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals
Entered France 15/07/15
Killed in Action 02/03/16

Born Crich, resident Prickly, Yorkshire, enrolled Huddersfield

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Name WILLIAMSON, ARTHUR ERNEST
Initials A E
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Unit 9th Bn.
Date of Death 02/03/16
Service Number 12959
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference Panel 20.
Cemetery YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

War graves certificate for Arthur Ernest Williamson in WW1

 

CENSUS INFORMATION

1891: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Williamson Head 45 Police Constable Burton
Mary Williamson wife 39   Monyash
Sarah Jane Williamson daughter 11   Barlow
Mary Ellen Williamson daughter 8   Hulland
Emma Maria Williamson daughter 5   Hulland
Frances Annie Williamson daughter 2   Hulland
Arthur Ernest Williamson son 4 mo   Crich

RG12 piece 2746 folio 55 page 1

1901: Fritchley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Williamson Head 55 Farmer Burton
Mary Williamson wife 49   Monyash
Mary E Williamson daughter 18 Machine minder, cotton mill Hulland
Emma M Williamson daughter 15 Machine minder, cotton mill Hulland
Frances A Williamson daughter 12 School Hulland
Arthur E Williamson son 10   Crich
Geo H Williamson son 7   Fritchley

RG13 piece 3231 folio 14 page 19

1911: Huddersfield

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Arthur Williamson Servant 20 Husbandman Crich

RG14PN27645 RG78PN1582 RD508A SD2 ED4 SN5

Arthur Williamson's brother George Williamson is also on the Roll of Honour