Tipton

Remembers

Private 32144 Arthur William Blocksidge


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Died of Wounds on Saturday, 5th October 1918, age 27.
Buried in Grave VI. H. 15. at Tincourt New British Cemetery, Somme, France.

1st/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of Mr Blocksidge,of Eagle Street, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs
Born: Wolverhampton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because his death was reported in the Tipton Herald.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/255130/


Genealogical Data

1901 Census
2 Court 1 House, Eagle Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Arthur Blocksidge (38, Ironworks Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (37, born Bloxwich), their 3 children: Arthur (8, born Tipton), Joseph (5, Helper in Coalyard, born Tipton), Henry (3, Helper in Coalyard, born Tipton).

1911 Census
2 Court 1 House, Eagle Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Arthur Blocksidge (48, Ironworks Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (47, born Bloxwich), their 4 children: Arthur (18, Labourer in Steel Tube Works, born Tipton), Joseph (15, Helper in Coalyard, born Tipton), Henry (13, Helper in Coalyard, born Tipton), and Harriet (9, born Tipton).


Personal Data

After Arthur's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £20/16/9d (20 pounds, 16 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Harriett M., in February 1919. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Arthur had enlisted in approximately October 1916.


Action resulting in his death

Arthur Blocksidge arrived in France at an unknown date after 1915, so missed the 1/5th South Staffs' disastrous day at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915. It is possible that he was present at their second disastrous day, 1st July 1916 at Gommecourt, but he would have been in action on 29th September 1918, the day the 46th (North Midlands) Division reputation was finally restored - "the day the Staffords won the war".

The Hindenburg Line, the final truly defensible German defence line, was to be breached on 29th September 1918. The 46th Division stormed the St. Quentin Canal between Bellenglise and the Riqueval Bridge, captured the Riqueval Bridge itself, and took the village of Bellenglise.

The offensive continued, pushing the Germans eastwards and on the 3rd October 1918 the Staffs attacked eastwards Sequehart. The battalion reached its objective by about 08.00am, outposts were pushed forward on to Mannequin Hill but later had to be withdrawn owing to the intense enfilade machine gun fire. Shelling and machine gun fire was severe throughout the day leading to heavy casualties.

On the next day, the 4th October, the situation was unchanged with severe shelling and machine gun fire throughout the day. This was the day when Arthur, according to the Tipton Herald, was wounded in action. He died on the next day, 5th October 1918, and is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery.


Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 28th December 1918
TIPTON SOLDIER DIES FROM WOUNDS
News of another Tipton lad giving his all for King and Country comes to hand. Private A. Blocksidge of the 1/5th South Staffords was wounded on October 4th, and the next day he succumbed to his injuries in a Casualty Clearing Station. He was buried at Fourcourt, France (Editor: actually Tincourt). Private Blocksidge was 27 years of age, and a large circle of friends will mourn his loss. His father lives in Eagle Street, Toll End.