Arthur James Berkley Addison – lost his life at the Somme

Arthur was born in Cork, Ireland on 14 September 1866, the son of General Thomas and Ellen Addison.  Arthur went to Haileybury College and after school joined the regular army.  He was a Captain with his regiment in India when he married Mildred Jeanne de Gilbert in Fort William, Bengal on 9 January 1901.  After leaving the army, they lived in London where their daughter, Marie Josephine, was born on 1 November 1902 but they also spent several months a year at Hill House, Church Lane, Witley.  Mildred died on 13 April 1961 while living at Hill House and is buried in All Saints’ churchyard.

Arthur was recalled by the army in early 1915, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and given command of 9th Battalion Yorks and Lancaster Regiment, landing in France on 27 August 1915.  He was twice mentioned in despatches during 1915 and 1916.  Eight Battalions of The Yorks and Lancaster Regiment went “over the top” on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, suffering immense casualties from shell and machine gun fire.  The 9th Battalion suffered 22 officers and 556 other ranks killed, wounded and missing.  Arthur is listed as killed on the first day but his body was not found until September and from a diary found on his person it is known he lived for two or three days after being wounded.  A memorial service was held for him at St Martin in the Fields, London and reported in The Times on 2 October 1916.

Arthur was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

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