Other names: William James
Locations in this story: The Street, Motcombe, Shaftesbury, DorsetFrance & FlandersCanterbury, KentIndiaYork, YorkshireBirmingham, WarwickshireBrighton, Sussex
Story: William James Arnold was born in Motcombe, Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 1876 and baptised in Motcombe on 3rd September 1876, the son of Thomas Arnold and Thirza Arnold (née Case). He lived with his parents in The Street, (adjacent to the old Royal Oak Inn), Motcombe, until by 1901 he had joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Dragoon Guards (Service No. 4464). By 1901 he was stationed in Canterbury, Kent, from where he did service in India. He married Christina Haddock in York, Yorkshire, on 18th November 1903 and, by 1911, he was on Reserve and living at 9 Ped Buildings, Ped Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire, working as a Railway Carman. His wife died on 18th July 1915 (leaving three children) shortly after he had enlisted on 5th May 1915 and joined the Royal Field Artillery, 64th Brigade, No. 4 Depot, as a Shoeing Smith (Service No. 98883). He served in France and whilst there, on 10th August 1918, he was diagnosed with a tumour on his chest. He was repatriated to the UK on 15th August 1918 and admitted to the 18th General Hospital, Brighton, Sussex. On the 12th October 1918 he re-married, to Mary Vokins (née Gill) (widow of Robert Vokins) at Holy Trinity, Micklegate, York. He was eventually discharged on 14th March 1919 and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He went to live at 1 The Avenue, Ellen Street, Spring Hill, Birmingham, and died there in 1938 aged 61 years.