Private 13388 Arthur Mason

Killed in Action Balkans on Wednesday, 25th April 1917, age 35.
Commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece.

12th Bn., Hampshire Regiment. 79th Brigade of 26th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 21st September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

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/1650968/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Arthur Mason registered March quarter 1882 in Dudley.

1891 Census
36 Chapel Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Mason (52, Carter, born Pattingham), his wife Annie (50, born Pattingham), and their 3 children: Joseph (19, General Labourer, born Wolverhampton), Thomas (15, Chain Maker’s Striker, born Tipton) and Arthur (11, Scholar, born Tipton).

1901 Census
7 Albion Place, Eagle Lane, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Mason (60, Sanitary Carter, born Pattingham), his wife Hannah (53, born Pattingham), and their 2 children: Thomas (24, Chain Maker’s Striker, born Tipton) and Arthur (19, Sanitary Labourer, born Tipton).

1911 Census
14 Grout Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Thomas Mason (72, General Labourer at Brickworks, born Wolverhampton), his wife Hannah (69, born Wolverhampton), and 1 of their 5 surviving children of 9: Arthur (29, General Labourer for the Corporation, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Arthur's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £6/12/0d (6 pounds and 12 shillings); this was paid to his mother, Hannah, in October 1917. His War Gratuity was £12/0/0d (12 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his mother in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Arthur had enlisted in approximately September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

From "Old Foleyans"
After dark on April 23rd, the 12th Hampshires moved up for the Division's attack on the Jumeaux Ravine it had so long been facing. In this attack the 79th Brigade was on the right, from the Lake to Petit Couronne, which the Devon's were again tackling, the 12th Hampshire's objective, 'O.3', being east of the Petit Couronne and astride a wide gully, Wylye Ravine. On their right the 7th Wiltshires were attacking 'O.1' and 'O.2' next to the lake.

Nobody who had faced the Petit Couronne and neighbouring defences for several months could have any illusions about the desperate character of the venture. Our bombardment had done little damage to the formidable Bulgarian defences, their trenches having largely been blasted from the solid rock, the wire had not been very effectively cut and our guns had quite failed to master or silence those of the enemy, who had every advantage in observation and knew the range to a nicety. It is indeed difficult to understand how this sector should ever have been selected for an attack.

By 8.15pm on April 24th, the 12th Hampshire had started moving forward, to be caught by the enemy's barrage half an hour before Zero scheduled for 9.45pm, and so prevented from reaching their assembly position, a sunken road between Swindon and Silbury Hills, before our barrage lifted. But the 79th Brigade had been cut to pieces, the 12th Hampshires having 15 officers and 249 men hit."

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" shows the 12th Hampshires having 24 men killed on 24th April, and 32 men killed on the 25th April. Two Tipton men, Athur Mason and John Gwynne, are recorded as killed in action on 25th April. Arthur has no known grave and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, and John is buried in Doiran Military Cemetery, in northern Greece near the Macedonian border.

Newspaper Cuttings