Arthur Robert Dick Bacon 1897 – 1917
Research by John Birch, Wrecclesham War Memorial World War I 1914-1919 (privately printed). Typed up (with permission) by Josh Waldron.
Lieutenant Arthur Robert Dick Bacon was born in Eversley, Hampshire, in the autumn of 1897. He died in France, aged 19, on 25 April 1917. Arthur was a Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales, Royal Berkshire Regiment. He is buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery du Rionval, 62223 Roclincourt, Pas de Calais, France, Grave or Reference Panel Number: II. B. 12.
Arthur’s parents were John Maunsell Bacon and Hilda Bacon and their address at the time of his death was Elnete, Shortheath, Wrecclesham, Farnham. John Bacon had been head-master of Winton House School, Manor Road, Aldershot. Arthur had an elder brother, John Nicholas Harris, born in 1895, and a younger sister, Dorothy Hilda, born in 1903.
Winton House School was a small private boarding school for boys and it is probable that Arthur was initially educated here whilst his brother, John, was boarding at the United Services College (USC) in Windsor. In 1912, the USC became the Haileybury and Imperial Services College, located near Hertford, and Arthur was one of the first twenty-three pupils to attend this school. As it was a school with a military background, Arthur participated in the important daily activities of the school’s Officer Training Corps, enabling him to gain a commission with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, at the start of World War 1.
Arthur was in action in the Battles of the Somme in 1916 and in the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917. In April 1917 the 1st Battalion was sent to relieve the 1st/6th Seaforths on the old German front line at Roclincourt, between Arras and Vimy. On 24 April 1917 they also relieved the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in the front line between Bailleul and Willerval. However, on the next day they came under constant enemy shelling and one officer and six other ranks were killed and one officer and six other ranks were wounded. Sadly, the officer killed that day was Lt. Arthur Robert Dick Bacon.