ARBON, George Frederick

No. 270075,Private, George Frederick ARBON
Aged 20

2nd/6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment
formerly No.8408, 4th Bn., Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 21st March 1918

Frederick George Arbon was born in 1897 (Mildenhall Q4-1897 4A:826), son of William and Eliza Maria ARBON (née NEALE).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Old Elveden with his father William ARBON [39] farm labourer, born Flempton; his mother Maria [32] born Elveden; brothers Harry [11] and William [10] both born in Elveden; sister Anne [8] born North Stow and sister Maud [5] born Elveden.

1911 census...Aged 13, he was at 94 Old Elveden with his parents; brother Harry and William (farm labourers) and sister Maud; sisters Violet [9], Emma [7], Jane [4] and Beatrice [1] and brother John [1 month]. All the new siblings were born in Elveden.

The family address was still Old Elveden on the pension card, but they later moved to the "School House", Wangford, Brandon.

His elder brother William died in Belgium in October 1918 see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
The Germans started their Spring Offensive (the Kaiserschlacht) on 21st March with an intense barrage and much of it gas shells. The 2nd/6th Manchesters were in the support line in the Villeret sector but around 11 am were outflanked and pulled back to COTE WOOD and CARPEZA COPSE. One company formed a defensive position at FERVAQUE FARM and beat off several heavy attacks until the Germans brought up flamethrowers and by 1:30 pm the farm fell, only 8 men surviving. Other companies were nearly surrounded at TEMPLEUX QUARRIES but fought on and held. The Germans had by now outdistanced their artillery support and were checked. The whole day was one of confusion, withdrawal, fight back, further withdrawal.
The battalion was now down to about 12 officers and 150 ORs.

CWGC give the death toll as 68, only 8 having known graves.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

George Arbon is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial panels 64 to 67
and also on the Weather Heath Memorial (Elveden Column by the A11)

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details