Top Navigation


Main CPGW Record

Surname: WILSON

Forename(s): Arthur

Place of Birth: Silsden, Yorkshire

Service No: 6/2825

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 'A' Coy 1/6th Battalion

Division: 49th (West Riding) Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 1915-05-19

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: D. 49.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: EARBY, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Arthur Wilson was the son of John William and Lizzie Wilson, née Lumb. John was born at Silsden and Lizzie at Halifax, Yorkshire.

1901 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 46, St. John Street - Arthur Wilson, aged 8 years, born Silsden. [Arthur, his parents and brother Norman, were living with his father's parents, Thomas and Rebecca Wilson.]

1911 Earby, Yorkshire Census: 21, Albion Street - Arthur Wilson, aged 18 years, born Silsden, Yorkshire, son of John William and Lizzie Wilson.

The British Army Service Record for Arthur Wilson exists but may be incomplete.

Arthur is listed in the Nominal Roll of the 1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment): Pte A. Wilson.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Arthur Wilson, 2825, W. Rid. R. Theatre of war first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 14.4.15. K. in A. 19.5.16.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Arthur Wilson, 6/2825, 1/6 W. Rid. R. K. in A. 19.5.16.

See also:
‘Earby in the First World War’ by Stephanie Carter, published by Earby & District Local History Society (2014).
‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War – A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).
‘Our Finest Crop’ by Steven Marshall, published by Earby & District Local History Society (2020).

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

WILSON, Arthur, aged 23, 6th West Riding Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wilson, 21, Albion Road, [Earby], killed in France May 19.


Click the thumbnail below to view a larger image.

Private Arthur WILSON

Private Arthur WILSON

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: WILSON

Forename(s): Arthur


Residence: Earby, Yorks

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 2825

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 1/6th Battalion


Died Date: 19/05/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: WILSON

Forename(s): Arthur

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 6/2825

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: "A" Coy. 1st/6th Bn.

Age: 23


Died Date: 19/05/1915

Additional Information: Son of John William and Lizzie Wilson, of "Lyndale," 29, School Lane, Earby, Colne, Lancs. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS)



View Craven Herald Articles

View Craven Herald Articles

Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

28 May 1915


The distressing news was received on Saturday in a letter from Major Bateman of the death of Pte. Arthur Wilson, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Wilson, 21, Albion Street, Earby. Deceased was a young man of exemplary character, closely identified with the Wesleyan body, in which previous to joining the army he took an active part as a Sunday School teacher and member of the choir. He joined the First 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in October last, and after undergoing training at Skipton, Doncaster, and other places, was sent to France with the first draft on the 14th April, celebrating his 23rd birthday the day after arrival on the Continent.

The letter bearing the sad intelligence was as follows:–

May 19th, 1915

“Dear Mr. Wilson – Your letter dated May 16 and numbered 9 duly arrived to-night addressed to your son 2825 Pte. Arthur Wilson. I have taken the liberty of opening it and burning it. I very much regret to inform you that your son was struck by a piece of shell to-day and killed almost instantly. Please accept my very deepest sympathy. It will be some little while before you receive the official intimation from the War Office, so I thought I would write you at once. – Yours truly, CHAS M. BATEMAN, Major, O.C. ‘A’ Co., 1/6 D. of W. Regiment.”

A memorial service is to be held at the Wesleyan Church on Sunday.

04 June 1915

EARBY – Memorial Service

At the Wesleyan Church on Sunday evening an impressive memorial service for the late Private Arthur Wilson was conducted by the Rev. Mathew Hall, who preached the text, ‘To die is to gain.’ The choir sang the anthem, ‘What are these that are these arrayed in white robes?’ There was a large congregation.

View West Yorkshire Pioneer Articles

View West Yorkshire Pioneer Articles

West Yorkshire Pioneer Logo

14 May 1915

NEWS FROM THE FRONT – Barnoldswick and Earby Lad’s letters

Mr. Edgar Whitehead, of 36, Bracewell Street, Barnoldswick, has received two very interesting letters from the firing line this week.

The first is from Private Morris Holdsworth…

The second letter is from Private Arthur Wilson, of Albion Street, Earby, who enlisted in the 6th West Riding Regiment in October of November last. After having referred to his state of good health, the writer says:– “We have had an exciting incident or two. One day we had to run from our billets because German shells were dropping at rather close quarters. You can follow the shell by the sound as it tears its way through the air. It sounds almost like a brazier. It is very nice to hear them, but they are best far enough away.”

28 May 1915

DEATH OF AN EARBY SOLDIER – Private Arthur Wilson Killed – Impressive Scenes at the Churches

Great sympathy has been expressed in Earby with Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wilson, 21 Albion Road, Earby, in the loss of their son who, they were informed in a letter on Saturday last, has been killed by a shell at the Front. Although natives of Silsden, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have lived in Earby for about twenty years, and their eldest son, Private Arthur Wilson, was educated in the little township. He carried all before him at school, and whilst working as a weaver for the Coates Manufacturing Company at Victoria Shed, passed high in the Technical School examination.

Private Wilson was a member of the Earby Wesleyan Church, a Sunday School teacher and member of the choir. Out of a sense of patriotism he enlisted in the 6th West Riding Battalion in October, and after training at Skipton and Doncaster, was transferred to the French coast on April 14th. A few days later he celebrated his 23rd birthday upon foreign soil. News of Private Wilson’s death was contained in a letter from Major Charles Bateman of his regiment dated May 19th.

It says:– “Dear Mrs. Wilson, Your letter dated May 16th duly arrived to hand addressed to your son, Private A. Wilson. I have taken the liberty of opening it and burning it. I very much regret to inform you that your son was struck by a piece of shell today and killed almost instantly. It will be some little while before you receive the official intimation from the War Office, so I thought I would write to you at once. Yours truly, Charles M. Bateman, Major.”

In a subsequent communication from a friend at the Front, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have learned that their son was killed when in the act of leaving the trenches to take a respite behind the line. He was a member of a party about a dozen strong at the time the shell fell, but was the only person to be hit. Private Wilson was killed almost immediately. His burial took place the same day and the funeral service was read over his body by Lieut. Barrett and Sergeant Dickson, in the presence of a number of his former comrades. Lieut. Barrett is a son of Mr. R.B. Barrett, J.P. of Skipton Castle.


Private Wilson sent to his parents a graphic description of the great advance of May 9th, the story of which has just recently percolated through the Press Bureau to the public. His story is as follows:– “On the eve of Sunday, May 8th, it was whispered abroad that an attack was to be made on the German trenches to the right of our position. It was the idea to bring up the right flank, right with the centre, which was further advanced than the rest of the line. Our French Allies were to take the greater part in the advance, and had _____ men ready to throw into the field. The order was given to ‘stand to’ at 3.30am on Sunday, May 9th, that being half an hour earlier. So, when the time came we were all in readiness expecting to see great things. Nor were we disappointed. It was a grey morning and the day was just beginning to dawn when we crept out of our ‘dug-outs’ like so many ardent Britons. As the day grew older the sun peeped over the horizon, smiling out over the battlefield, which at that moment assumed a ……ful aspect. Every man was ‘standing to’ waiting in suspense for the opening events of the attack. Presently, about … a.m., three British aeroplanes came into view and began hovering round about the German lines, being constantly fired at by anti-aircraft guns. They went quietly on with their observations, however, knowing they were well out of reach of the missiles. At about 4.55 one or two guns, which gave evidence of the commencement of the attack, began to send their ‘iron rations’ over our men into the German trenches. And then the battle began. It was a wonderful sight, yet awful. From our position we could see the German lines, and the shells bursting over them. For about an hour the shelling was furious, lyddite, coal-boxes, shrapnel and other shells bursting in rapid succession. For one to have been in it must have seen like ‘Hades’, for the area was alive with shellfire. Trees fell, barbed wire entanglements were thrown into the air, and trenches and earthworks were thrown up as high as a mill chimney whilst all colours of smoke and gases filled the air.

It would have been impossible for an artist to imagine so dreadful a scene, or for a poet to express in words such a terrible sight. After the shelling had subsided the troops made a rush over the parapet into the German trenches, and the reserve were rushed up to the foremost trenches. The losses must have been heavy on both sides, but the attack was a success, our troops having taken three lots of trenches.

Further down the line it was passed along that the French had made an advance of ten miles. Thus the fighting for that day proved a big success. Our battalion played no part in this attack as we were holding the foremost trenches.


Passing reference to the death of Private Wilson was made at the evening service at the Earby Wesleyan Church on Sunday by Mr. John Hartley. Preaching from the text, ‘Be ready’ (Luke 12, 40) Mr. Hartley pointed out that the principle lesson derived from the context was that there should be a spiritual readiness with regard to the affairs of life. A man who was prepared to live was prepared to die. And Private Arthur Wilson, whose death they so deeply deplored at the Church, was one who had prepared himself for life to do his best in whatever work he could engage in. He was diligent in his studies, enthusiastic in his devotion to church work, and in the Sunday School as teacher, or as an official of the Wesley Guild. And when the call came to enlist in the King’s Army it was instantly obeyed. He was ready immediately to take his place, and to do his duty. They thanked God for his mind, fine disposition, his sterling industry and willingness to sacrifice himself always for the good of others

At the conclusion of the sermon, the hymn ‘For all the saints who from their labours rest’ was sung by the congregation with great feeling. A memorial is to be conducted on Sunday by Rev. Mathew Hall, superintendent minister of the circuit, Barnoldswick.

Preaching at the Earby Baptist Church, Rev. W.A. Livingstone made reference to the deceased gentleman as follows:– Though he did not work with us he was in close touch with many of our young people, and many of them knew him and had great respect for him and for his parents, and felt very kindly towards them in their bereavement. Therefore, it was felt fit that they should take some notice of Private Wilson’s death, in as much as it was well known that his was not a fighting nature, as he only enlisted in a true sense of duty for the cause of his country. He had laid down his life for his country and thereby left a memory that would be honoured by every citizen in years to come. In their belief he had entered into the fellowship of the sacrifice of Christ. They felt the deepest sympathy with his parents and desired to express their sympathy with them.

The worshippers concurred, and remained standing whilst the special congregational prayers were offered.

04 June 1915


The Earby Wesleyan Church was crowded on Sunday evening, when a service was held in memory of the late Private Arthur Wilson, a former active member of the church, whose death at the Front was fully reported in our columns last week. The service was conducted by Rev. Matthew Hall, circuit minister, who preached from the text, ‘To die is gain’. In the course of his discourse, Mr. Hall said Brother Arthur Wilson came to reside in Earby when only a few years of age, and the associations of his life were mostly connected with the village and the people where his parents found a new home. It was impossible to over-estimate the value of his home training, and the excellence of his character was primarily due to the influence of worth and Christian parents. More than twelve years ago he, along with other companies, joined the society class, conducted by Bros. John Hartley and John W. Brown. He was constant in his attendance, and by his loyalty and enthusiasm did much to make the class successful. For several years he was a faithful and successful Sunday School teacher, and had a good influence over those who were placed in his charge. The Wesley Guild, too, had lost one of its best workers. He was rarely absent from its meetings, and for several years had filled the office of magazine and roll secretary. He was a lifelong member of the Band of Hope and a member of the choir for many years.

It was significant, the preacher said, that his last entry into their school was whilst singing at a temperance meeting the well-known song ‘The death of Nelson’ – that England expects every man to do his duty. Such was the spirit of his life. He was kind, thoughtful, conscientious and diligent; uniformly cheerful and useful; always ready for any good work in which he could engage. His life and death stood before them as an example worthy of their highest praise and emulation. Whilst it was regrettable to them to think that so promising a career had been so suddenly cut short, it would always be an inspiration to think of him as they had known him, and if those who were associated with him received a double portion of his spirit his death would not have been in vain. But they did not regard him as dead; his body was laid to rest on the battlefield in France, but his spirit had returned to its maker. They believed with all their hearts that he had entered into a still nobler life, and they who rejoiced in his fellowship here on earth confidently hoped to resume it in the life that was beyond. The last message of the Apostle Paul, as a Christian soldier, was especially appropriate to their dear brother: ‘I am now ready to be offered; I have fought a good fight, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing.’

At the conclusion of the sermon a letter of sympathy was read from the deacons of the Mount Zion Baptist Church, Earby, as follows:– “At our last deacons’ meeting it was unanimously decided to convey to your church their deep sympathy with you in the loss of Private Arthur Wilson who was so useful a member and worker in connection with your church. Such young men as Mr. Wilson are much needed and very sorely missed, but we pray that the influence of so fine a life as his will remain in those who are left, and be an impetus to them to be as true and as noble as he.”

(To the Editor of the Pioneer)

“Sir, In your report in this day’s ‘Pioneer’ of the death of an Earby soldier (Private Arthur Wilson) you state that the funeral service was read over his body by Lieut. Barrett and Sergt. Dickson. In justice to my son, Captain Hugh Dixon (to whose Company Private Arthur Wilson belonged) officiated at the burial, reading the Church of England service, and was assisted by Lieut. Barrett. I must ask you to correct this statement in your next issue. My authority for this statement is the enclosed letter from Captain Dixon, received on Sunday morning last, which please return to me after perusal.

“Yours sincerely, JOHN DIXON. Summer Hill, Steeton, May 28th 1915.”

[The matter is a very small one indeed, but we make the ‘correction’ at Mr. Dixon’s request – Editor, ‘Pioneer’.]

24 December 1915


Pte. Arthur Wilson, 6th West Riding (Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment, killed in France by a shell on May 19th. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wilson, 21 Albion Road, Earby. Twenty-three years of age, he was a member of the Earby Wesleyan Church, being a Sunday School teacher and a member of the choir. Was employed as a weaver at the Victoria Shed.

Submit a Correction

    Name (required)

    Email Address (required)

    Telephone (required)

    Soldier Reference - Name:

    Soldier Reference - URL:

    Details of the correction to be made (required)

    Comment on this Soldier Record

    You can leave comments on this soldier record. Please note all comments will be manually approved before they appear on the website.

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This