Arthur Firth


About Arthur

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    January 1897
  • Birth town
    Burnley, Lancashire
  • Resided town
    Burnley, Lancashire
  • Commemorated
    Tyne Cot Memorial
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
    9 October 1917
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Cotton Weaver

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Border Regiment


Arthur was born in January 1897 in Burnley, Lancashire to Richard and Elizabeth Firth, he had an older sister and a younger brother. The family were employed in the cotton industry, including Arthur, who was a cotton weaver at West’s Browhead Mill.

Arthur joined the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 20 June 1916 and was sent abroad exactly one year later in June 1917. He also served in the 4th Border Regiment, 25th Kings Liverpool Regiment and 2/7th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

Arthur was serving with the 4th Border Regiment when he passed through Peterborough East Station on 15 November 1916, whilst stationed at Sheringham.  He wrote in the visitors’ book “Thanking you for the kindness bestowed upon me at my short stay on Wednesday eveng Nov 15th”

Arthur died on 9 October 1917, aged 20 and is Remembered with Honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

He was most probably killed at the Battle of Poelcapelle, (Battle of Paschendaele, near Ypres), when on 9 October 1917 “The 2/7 Manchesters pushed their way into the cemetery (just to the right of TYNE COT)” (taken from the History of the 66th 2nd East Lancashire Division)

The following is a newspaper article and photograph are from the Burnley Express detailing a letter received by Arthur’s parents, written on 12 October 1917 by a comrade, recording in a very thoughtful way, Arthur’s death following a shot in a leg from a sniper.

“Fusilier Without a Fault – Sniper Fails to Hit Comrade”

Mr & Mrs Firth, 9 Claughton Street, on Saturday received official confirmation of a letter written by a comrade on October 12 giving details of the death in action of their son, Pte Arthur Firth, 204908, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who was 20 years of age last January. He joined up on June 20, 1916 and, by a coincidence, he went abroad exactly a year later.

His friend wrote: “Your Arthur and I were in action last Tuesday, and I am sorry to tell you that Arthur got shot in the leg by a sniper. I bandaged his leg for him and tried to carry him back, but could not, so I went and got help. The same sniper shot at me dozens of times while attending to Arthur, but I thought only of getting him into safety and the dressing station. I succeeded in my task, and the doctor attended to him, and I stayed with Arthur and talked to him, and gave him water etc, but he was very weak, and passed away about 2.30 the same afternoon. He peacefully left us as if going to sleep, just through weakness, and don’t think he died without a prayer or a farewell tear. He had someone over him who loved him very dearly and would willingly have made any sacrifice for him, and I shall miss him more than a brother, but my loss can be nothing compared with yours. Just think of what a good lad he was, without a single fault, and think of him as living in happiness away from all trouble and pain, where good people like him must go.”

Arthur was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

He had five cousins serving their country, one in Mesopotamia, three in France, and one in England who was wounded.


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