Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
20 Sep 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Arthur Edward Strange, 19791, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Bécordel-Bécourt on September 20th, 1915. He was aged 20.
Born and living in Wiltshire most of his life, he had worked in the Air Department at George Kent's in Luton for about a year before enlisting with comrades from the factory at the beginning of 1915. Flags at the Biscot Road factory were flown at half-mast in his memory.
His brother, Pte Herbert Henry Strange*, was serving with the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment, while his sister-in-law Elizabeth (nee Jarvis) was living at 7 Dunstable Place, Luton. Calne in Wiltshire-born Herbert had married Flamstead-born Elizabeth in Luton in 1909. She was living with parents John and Louisa in Russell Street, Luton, at the time of the 1901 Census.
A letter to Elizabeth Strange from Lieut Shirley Egerton Hine, dated September 22nd, said: "You have doubtless heard by now of poor Arthur's death, but I am sure you would like to know more about it than the War Office can tell you. It is with the greatest personal sorrow that I write such sad news, as I loved the boy like a son. He was my personal servant for nine months, and I never once had to find fault with him. Many times we have shared the same food, and often, including the night he was killed, slept side by side.
"We were out on night patrol together, and when half way to the German trenches were discovered by some of their snipers. They hit me in the side first, and Arthur, in trying to help me, was hit in the head. He made no sound, and only some minutes after I found he was hit. He was still living then, so I started to get him back to the trenches, but on the way back he died in my arms.
"We were being fired on all the time rather heavily, but although my clothes were cut several times I was not touched again, and neither was he. My sergeant (Sgt Fountain) had gone back for something, and I think it was the most desolate moment of my life when I found myself out in the dark night, wounded, alone with the dead body of the boy I would gladly have died for.
"It took an hour to get him back, but we did it, and he was buried at 12 noon on September 20th. His grave will be my personal care. The officers of the regiment ask me to express to you their sincere sorrow at his loss. He was loved by all his comrades, and respected by everyone."
*Pte Herbert Henry Strange, 18463, 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, was himself killed in action on the Somme on October 18th, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.