G/18127, Private, Arthur John HOSKINS
Aged 31

7th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment
(enlisted as No.2552, Suffolk Yeomanry)
Died of his Wounds on Saturday 17th October 1916

Born in Battersea, London in February 1885 [Wandsworth 1d:667] to Arthur George and Sarah Catherine HOSKINS (née STEVENTON), of 121 Estcourt Road, Fulham.

1891 census...Arthur [6] was at 121 Estcourt Road, Fulham with his father Arthur [23] a waiter born in Bromley, Kent; mother Sarah [27] born in Marylebone, with his sisters Lilian [8] born Marylebone; Louise [4]and Ada [1] born Battersea, and his maternal grandmother Sarah Steventon [55].
His mother died in 1896.

1901 census...Arthur has not been found in the 1901 census. His widower father and sisters Lilian; Louisa and Ada, Aunt Annie Anderson and cousin Isabella were at 75 Bridge Road, West, Battersea.

1911 census...Arthur [25] was a stableman, a boarder with Percy and Amy West at 1 Stamford Villas, Newmarket. His father was still at Bridge Road, Battersea with sisters Louisa and Ada and Aunt Annie Anderson.

Newmarket Journal of 4th November 1916 reported the death of Arthur "Sailor" HOSKINS of the Suffolk Yeomanry in Central Hospital, Boulogne, and went on to state that he had been a stableman with Charles Peck in Newmarket (Sefton Lodge, Bury Road). There are no clues as how he came by such a nickname . Possibly he had gone to sea as a younger man, thus missing the 1901 census. His father died in 1919

Enlisted in Bury St Edmunds on 17th March 1916, giving his age as 31 years 1 month, occupation stablehand and address as 1 Stamford Villas, Newmarket. He was 5' 3 3/4" (161.9 cm)tall, weighing 108 lbs (49.1 kg). His father and 3 sisters were then living at 75 Bridge Road, Battersea.

Arrived with Battalion in Boulogne on 27th August 1916, posted to 1st/4th Suffolk Regiment but transferred to 7th Battalion (Queen's Own) Royal West Kent Regiment on 7th September 1916.
He was wounded in the field (GSW= =gunshot wounds, to thigh and neck) on 27th September. The Royal West Kents ( 18th (Eastern) Division, 55th Brigade at 2pm on 26th September moved up to Crucifix Corner and nearer to Thiepval by 8.30am the next morning. They were heavily shelled during this period.They were being held ready for another assault on the Schwaben Redoubt. The 7th lost 20 men killed on the 27th, half of which actually have identified graves.

Arthur was eventually passed back along the lines and ended up at No 13 General Hospital by 12th October. It is recorded that visits were permitted, following the usual procedure, at public expense and arrangements were made and travel warrants issued for his father and sister to travel to see him, but it is not clear whether they actually travelled in time to see him before he died on 17th. A great deal of his records still remain, but mostly concerned with his sister trying to get his medals (his father had died in 1919). His sister Mrs Lilian Ann MALINS was concerned that by 1921 the family still had not got the medals. Some of the delay was due to their father dying and her establishing herself as next of kin. She informed the Army that Arthur had left no will as he had nothing to leave

photo:Rodney Gibson

Arthur is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France - Ref:VIII.D.143

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