Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
23 Dec 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
First-class Gunner Arthur Best, 37371, Royal Garrison Artillery, died in the Keppel Place Hospital, Stoke, Devonport, on December 23rd, 1915, after suffering two attacks of pleurisy while serving in Gibraltar that led to him contracting consumption which led to a haemorrhage.
Gunner Best, the son of Mrs Bacchus, of 61 Ivy Road, Luton, was aged 22. He had enlisted in the RGA about four years earlier, having previously worked at the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road.
The journey back to England from Gibraltar had not improved his condition and when he arrived at Devonport it was so critical that his mother was called to the hospital. She stayed in the town for about ten days until his condition seemed to have improved, but a few days after her return to Luton she was informed he had passed away.
A funeral with full military honours was held at Devonport Corporation Cemetery [now Plymouth Weston Mill Cemetery] on December 28th. About 150 men of the RGA stationed at Plymouth attended, and his coffin draped in a Union Jack was conveyed on a gun carriage with the band of the RGA playing the Dead March en route. Three volleys were fired over his grave and the Last Post sounded.
Arthur Best was the son of Walter George Best, a Hertfordshire police constable, and Mary Ann Best (nee Welch), who had married in 1884. His father died in 1899 at the age of 39 and his mother remarried two years later. Her second husband was Walter Bacchus, a Luton butcher.