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Arthur Finch was 41 years old when he joined the Army Special Reserve at Preston on 24th January 1915 and had already served his time in Army. Pre-war Arthur had been part of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment Volunteers so when initial estimations that ‘the War would be over by Christmas’ were proved false, he rejoined his old Regiment and was given the number 19909.

Arthur was born in 1874 and had spent the last few years (since at least 1911) living with his wife, Alice, at 26 Great Hanover Street in Preston and had been working as a labourer in an Iron foundry.

He and Alice (nee Whitwell) had married on 19th August 1899 and had eight children; Eva (b. 26/01/1901), William (b. 11/09/1904), Alice Ann (b. 30/06/1905), Arthur (b. 19/07/1907), Ada (b. 24/11/1908), Esther Ann (23/10/1910), Ralph (b. 03/03/1913) and finally Henry was born on 17th May 1915, four months after Arthur rejoined.

As a Special Reservist he was first posted into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion who were at Felixstowe where would spend some time refreshing his skills and learning how to use the new equipment that had come into service in the years since he left.

Once fully trained Arthur was ready to be transferred to a Service Battalion to serve overseas. Over in Galipoli the 6th (Service) Battalion had suffered a terrible time in August 1915 with over 220 men being killed at Chunuk Bair on the night of 9th/10th, so Arthur’s arrival in that theatre on 10th September 1915 would be as one of a batch of men to rebuild the ranks and he became part of B Company.

Due to sickness, Private Arthur Finch’s time with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force wouldn’t last long and after reporting sick with dysentery on 6th October  he was sent on the long trip back to Blighty where he would spend time convalescing at the Western Command Depot at Rhyl.

A medical board concluded;

He has periodical attacks of dysenteric diarrhea; suffers from general debility, some emaciation. Deaf slightly, improving. Result of active service and infection. Not permanent, will last 6 months.

Arthur was discharged from the Army on 22nd May 1916 as being ‘no longer physically fit for war service’ and was given the Silver War Badge number 70977. He had served one year 119 days and the Commanding Officer concluded that Arthur ‘had done his duty well’ with a ‘very good’ military character.

Not long after Arthur’s discharge, he and Alice moved to 22 Sussex Street where sadly their youngest child, Henry, died on 12th October 1916.

With pension, Arthur remained under the care of the Army and attended bi-annual medical boards up until July 1919 when his condition had improved sufficiently enough that there were ‘no further grounds’ for the pension that had been used to support his family.

For his war service, Arthur Finch received the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
Contact me

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