ARTHUR RUSSELL, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, No. 1 Supernumerary Company, Private, Number 20166

Arthur was bon in Essex in 1865 and the family moved to St Dunstan’s Cottages, Coulsdon. He was employed as an attendant at Cane Hill Asylum. He married Ruth Ponter at St Luke’s Church, Coulsdon, on 13 June 1893. Ruth also worked at the Asylum. They had 4 children. Arthur had served in the Royal Artillery in 1882 for 2 years. He enlisted in Croydon on 5 November 1914 age 49 and was placed on reserve. Men such as Arthur were placed in various home units and were used to patrol towns and villages. He was on duty in August 1915 patrolling between East Croydon and Norwood Junction Stations. The weather was very wet and he caught a chill. He went sick but was little better by November. He was declared ‘totally incapacitated’ and admitted to Croydon Union Infirmary with chronic bronchitis.

He died there on 17 June 1916. His effects were £4 12s. 0d., plus War Gratuity £5 to widow Ruth. His death certificate gives his causes of death as cirrhosis of the liver, mitral incompetence and gangrene of the leg, none of which could be attributable to his war service. For this reason he could not be placed on the CWGC Debt of Honour. He is, however, remembered on the Cane Hill Memorial and in the LCC Book of Remembrance, neither of which carries his date of death.

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