No.16853, Private, Arthur CARPENTER
Aged 22

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916

Arthur Robert NORMAN was born in 1893 (Mildenhall Q2 1893 4A:801) son of Elizabeth NORMAN. His father's ? first wife was Ellen PEACHEY (m 1874). She apparently died in 1885 (Thingoe Q4 4A:387) with whom he had daughters Annie Eliza [1876], Mary Ann Elizabeth [1880] and Ellen [1882] and sons Albert Charles [1877], Edward Charles [1878], Ernest George [1881] and Thomas [1883]
In the 1891 census Elizabeth NORMAN was his housekeeper and was with her son William J NORMAN [4] and daughter Bessie M (2 months)

1901 census...Aged 7, Arthur Robert CARPENTER was at Hurdle Drove, West Row with his father Thomas [45] farmer born Mildenhall; his mother Elizabeth [43] born Dalham; half sister Ellen [18], half brother Thomas [17] and brother William NORMAN [14] both working on father's farm, and half sister Bessie NORMAN [10] all three born in Bradfield St Clare; brothers Francis [5] and Edward [2]; sisters Lizzie [3] and Ida [1], all 4 born in Mildenhall

1911 census...Aged 17, farm hand, he was at New Farm, Hockwold with his parents; brothers William and Francis (both farm hands);sisters Bessie and Ida, and brother Edward. Ida, Arthur, Francis and Edward now recorded as born in West Row.
Another anomaly here is that the marriage is recorded as of 26 years, which takes us back to 1885, but in the 1891 census Thomas was a widower and Elizabeth NORMAN was his housekeeper (with her 2 children) and a CARPENTER/NORMAN marriage registration has not been found. Arthur, Edward and Francis were all registered as NORMAN, Lizzie's and Ida's birth registration have not been found unless they were actually Sarah Elizabeth and Gertrude Ida NORMAN which seems more than likely

In 1912 Arthur married Alice FLACK, who later married Percy J.FINCHAM (Q1-1919, Mildenhall)

Enlisted in Ely.
Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment informs us :-
The 11th suffered the heaviest casualties in the 34th Division. Moving out from Becourt Wood at 5 am towards their jumping off point, the giant mine at Lochnagar was exploded at 7:28 (80,000 lbs of ammonal) and two minutes later the attack began. Their line of advance was through the centre of Bailiff Wood. The enemy in La Boiselle were stronger than had been thought and the Suffolks were quickly cut down by machine gun fire. It was effectively all over for them by 8 am. All day wounded lay out looking for a chance to crawl back. Some valiant souls still tried to advance, a pitiful few reaching the German wire.

Of the 188 men of the 11th Suffolk to die on 1st July 1916, 147 have no known grave.

Arthur Carpenter is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, pier and face 1C/2A
and on the Kenny Hill war memorial

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