Research and text by Brian Roote
Arthur was born at 1 Wyche Grove, South Croydon, on 29 June 1892, to Joseph and Mary Ann Barfoot (who had married in Kensington on 25 December 1886 before moving to Wyche Grove). They later moved to 64 Sanderstead Road. Arthur went to Brighton Road School, where he was admitted on 7 March 1900.
Arthur enlisted with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Holborn on 12 November 1915, with his Army Service Record stating he was 5’4” tall with a 36” chest. During his time in France he was twice wounded. On May 4 1917 the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were on board SS Transylvania when it was torpedoed and sunk. He was one of the few men rescued.
He was with a number of his comrades having a swim on 18 September 1917 (just 4 months after his escape from the Transylvania) when a large wave carried him out to sea and, despite attempts to rescue him, he drowned; his body was not recovered. The company chaplain wrote a very moving letter to his mother. His effects post war were a War Gratuity of £10 10s.0d. to his mother. His bank account showed a debit balance of £1 10s.0d.
On 21 March 1921 his personal belongings were sent home and they consisted of, amongst other things, a wallet containing letters, a purse, cigarette case, a small wallet containing photos, a souvenir of Malta and a prayer book.
Arthur is remembered on The Jerusalem Memorial, Brighton Road School Memorial and St Augustine’s Church Memorial.
Footnote;- His brother Percival served in the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment rising to the rank of Sergeant. He was invalided out on the 21 September 1918 and was issued with a Silver War Badge.