No. 15616, Lance Corporal, Arthur James MASON
11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Arthur James Edward Mason was born in Chippenham on 4th April 1896 (Newmarket Q2-1896 3B:532). Baptised on May 17th in Chippenham. The son of Harry John
and Hannah MASON (née DRAKE).
1901 census...Aged 4, at New Street, Chippenham with his father Harry J MASON  a carpenter born in Burwell; his mother Hannah  born in Isleham; brother Harry  a carpenter, sisters Rosa M. and Alice E.  (all the siblings born in Chippenham) and a cousin Arthur E. Barton  born in London.
1911 census...Aged 14, an apprentice carpenter, at High Street, Chippenham with his father (now a builder in carts and cottages), his mother and brother Harry. All four children survive.
He enlisted in Newmarket, obviously under age. He was one of only three men from Chippenham not wounded on 1st July on the Somme.
The battalion were in the line near Poperinghe, mainly digging defences on the Brandhoer Line, standing to to defend them, but not taking part in any major operation.
Seven men of the 11th Battalion were killed that day, six are buried in Poperinghe.
photo: Rodney Gibson
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