Arthur James Cyril Blackmore

Service:                Army

Rank:                    Private

Service No:           3385

Unit:                     1st/6th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment

                               (7 Platoon “B” Company) 

Arthur was born on 10th November 1894 at 3, Northcote Road, St George, Bristol; he was the 6th child of Fredrick and Augusta Susan Wesley Blackmore (nee Smith) , he had 8 siblings.  As a 6 year old in 1901 he was living with his parents & siblings at 62 Northcote Street; his father was a civil assistant Ordnance Survey.  By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to 125 Beaufort St George & Arthur’s occupation is recorded as a Machine Hand.

Arthur James Cyril Blackmore enlisted on Sunday 13th September 1914 at the Bristol Colston Hall, he arrived in the war theatre on 31st March 1915.

The territorial battalions 1/4, 1/5 and 1/6th landed in France at the end of March 1915.The 1/6th battalion was in support of the 1/4th Gloucestershire’s and the 1/7th Worcester’s on 17th April at Ploegstreet.  Everard Wyrall states "There were no incidents of outstanding importance during the time that the 3 Gloucestershire Territorial battalions were at "Plugstreet" to give it its popular name. The 1/4th and 1/6th were on the eastern edges of Ploegstreet Wood as part of 144 Brigade.
However he also states "that at the end of May mining activities were commenced by the Germans blowing a mine opposite the 1/6th Battalion front. Mines in those days were a novelty and this occurrence drew crowds of red-hatted spectators to view the crater. The mine and subsequent shelling did very little damage however.
The mine crater extended from the edge of our wire into no man's land. At dusk two parties, each under a subaltern, were ordered to seize and consolidate the crater. They were provided with Mills Bombs which had just been received for the first time. Simultaneously the Germans set out to consolidate their side of the crater - they were driven off by our consolidating parties who then carried on their work successfully". 

The following detail was obtained by Arthur's Grand Nephew from the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum :-

"When the Germans were mining the allied trenches at Le Gheer where Arthur was on duty. In fact he was killed when a small section of men were sent to occupy the forward position. “Lieutenant Wilfred Henry Young led a party of men from 7 Platoon to start work on this new trench on the night of the 29th May. this being situated in No Man's Land. However this was a very exposed position and the work cost the lives of Private Arthur Blackmore along with Private Percy Baker and Private Henry Pope. 2nd. Lieutenant Wilfrid Henry Young aged 26 was seriously wounded and died the next day. He was the first officer of the Battalion to die in the war and his death was reported in The Times published on 7th June 1915. All four were temporarily buried in a field next to the medical dressing station which was sited on the main lines of communication on the road that troops used to move between their billets in the hamlet of Le Gheer and the front line and well established beyond the furthest range of the German artillery." 

 At the time of his death Arthur's family were resident 38 Summerhill Road, St. George, Bristol.

Arthur is buried at the Lancashire Cottage Cemetery,Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Grave reference  II. B11.

 Image supplied by David Blackmore 

 Image by kind permission of CWGC.

Arthur was entittled to the 1915 Star, The British War Medal & The Victory Medal.

Thanks to David Blackmore for image of Arthur and additional details.

Refrences 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Great War Forum

The Gloucestershire Regiment In the War 1914-18 Pages 129- 130

1901 & 1911 UK household census

Wikipedia.