Acting Bombardier L/33333 Arthur John Bridgwood

Bridgwood Arthur 96 400x600

Died Home on Monday, 14th February 1916, age 37.
Buried in Grave A."C." 264. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

Royal Field Artillery, 175th Brigade, ‘A' Battery. 34th Division.

Husband of Eliza Bridgwood, of 38, Bank St., Bradley, Bilston. At the time of enlistment, living at 16 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Stafford, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton 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/395337/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Arthur John Bridgwood registered June quarter 1878 at Stafford.

1901 Census
Cannot trace, possibly with the Army in South Africa.

Marriage of Arthur J Bridgwood and Eliza Rowley registered March quarter 1905 at Wolverhampton.

1911 Census
48 Perry Street, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Arthur John Bridgwood (33, Police Constable, born Stafford), his wife Eliza (33, born Bilston), and their 3 children: Sidney Charles (6, School, born Wednesbury), Arthur Oswald (4, born Wednesbury), and Mary Gwendoline (1, born Wednesbury).
Sadly, their daughter Mary died in March quarter 1913. A further son, Vincent John, was born on 10th March 1914.

Personal Data

Arthur Bridgwood had joined the police force after serving over 7 years in the Royal Horse Artillery, including service in the Boer War. He re-enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery on 5th July 1915, when he was a 37 year old Police Constable, living at 16 Park Lane East, Tipton. He was 5 feet 9½ inches tall, with a 41-inch chest, ruddy complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair.

Arthur was discharged on 23rd December 1915 as unlikely to become an efficient soldier (medical reasons).

After Arthur's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/8/5d (2 pounds, 8 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow, Eliza, in November 1916. As Arthur had not served abroad, he was not entitled to a War Gratuity.

Arthur was, illogically, refused a Disability Pension. Eliza was later awarded a pension of £1/3/0d (1 pound and 3 shillings) per week for herself and her three children effective from 28th February 1916; this was later increased to £1/7/6d (1 pound, 7 shillings and 6 pence). At that time Eliza was living at 56, Back of 62 Bank Street, Bradley, near Bilston.

Action resulting in his death

Arthur died on 14th February 1916 after being discharged less than two months earlier whilst training with the Royal Field Artillery . His Pension Card records "Morbus Cardis commencing on Active Service", "Morbus Cardis" is the medical term for unspecified heart disease.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 10th July 1915
PC Arthur John Bridgwood of the Tipton Police Force, has joined the Royal Field Artillery this week. The gallant soldier had served over 7 years in the Royal Horse Artillery, and three of four years in the Reserves, and went through the Boer War. His rank was then of Corporal Rough-rider. Since the Boer War, he has served twelve years in the Staffordshire Police Force, having, after a short spell at West Bromwich and Bilston, been ten years at Wednesbury and a year at Tipton. The officer is a married man with three children. He possesses the two medals of the South African campaign and five clasps. He was 37 years of age in March. He is the only volunteer from Tipton Police force so far. He, of course, will prove of great value to the new force.