Lance Corporal A/1332 Joseph Arnold

Killed in Action on Thursday, 3rd May 1917, age 24.
Commemorated on Bay 7 of Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

8th Bn., King's Royal Rifle Corps. 41st Brigade of 14th Division.

Son of Mr and Mrs J. Arnold, of 5 Wills Street, Smethwick, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 18th May 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Cotton College War Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/738920/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
8 Waterloo Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Arnold (39, Iron Puddler, born Coseley), his wife Sarah Ann (34, born Smethwick), and 7 of their 8 children: Maud (12, born Tipton), Ellen Elizabeth (10, born Tipton), Joseph (8, born Tipton), Jane (6, born Tipton), Alice (3, born Tipton), and Louisa (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
60 Wills Street, Smethwick, Staffs.
Joseph Arnold (47, Iron Worker, Born Roseville, Coseley), his wife Sarah Ann (44, born Oldbury), and 7 of their 8 children: Ellen (20, Machinist, born Tipton), Joseph (18, Core Maker, born Tipton), Jane (16, Press Hand, born Tipton), Alice (13, born Tipton), Louisa (11, born Tipton), John Thomas (8, born Tipton), and Florence (5, born Smethwick).

Personal Data

The war memorial was erected for Cotton Roman Catholic College and stands just inside the entrance to the grounds of St Wilfreds Church, Cotton. The college closed in 1992, the building has been sold and the intention is to redevelop as a hotel. The memorial takes the form of an oak wood crucifix with canopy and octagonal shaft on a cylindrical stone plinth and stepped base. There are 40 names for World War 1 and 18 for World War 2.
Memorial Photograph at http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Staffordshire/CottonCollege.html

Action resulting in his death

The Third Battle of the Scarpe 3rd-4th May 1917
By late April 1917, it was clear that the French Nivelle Offensive had failed and the French troops were in mutiny. The attacks of the 3rd and 4th May 1917 were in response to French appeals to keep the German army from moving troops south, and taking advantage of the French disarray. Haig decided to launch a two pronged attack: the Third Army would attack along the Scarpe valley and make another attempt (the fifth) to capture Roeux, the Fifth Army further south at Bullecourt.

The 14th Division attacked just south of Guemappe, the Cojeul river forming their north boundry with 56th (London) Division, and were to attack towards Vis-en-Artois. On the right of their attack was the 41st Brigade with two Battalions in the front line: the 8th Rifle Brigade on the right and the 8th King's Royal Rifle Corps on the left. Zero hour was 3.45am.

Heavy losses were suffered but some objectives taken. Machine guns in Triangle Wood in front of Vis-en-Artois caused severe losses, as well as a very heavy enemy bombardment on the whole Divisional area. Roeux would not be taken until 11th May - the sixth attempt.

48 men of the 8th Rifle Brigade were to lose their lives on this day, amongst them Pte Joseph Arnold. Like most of the 48 men, he had no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Smethwick Telephone
Lance Corporal J. Arnold A1322, 8th Battalion K.R.R. Corps, is reported having been killed in action on May 3rd last. He joined the Colours immediately on the outbreak of war, being then in the employ of the firm Bakers of Grove Lane, Smethwick. He was 24 years of age. His home was at 5 Wills Street, Smethwick.