John Arnold Mitchell

Private John Arnold Mitchell, 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. No. 32421.

Private John Arnold Mitchell

John was born in Cullingworth in 1885, the son of John Mitchell, a Boot, Shoe and Clog Maker and Mary Jane Mitchell, of Haworth.
In 1891 they were living at Green Head, Cullingworth and by 1901 had moved to 45, Mill Hey, Haworth.
They were recorded in the 1911 census living at 45 and 47 Mill Hey, John had six sisters and was the only boy in the family. He was working as an assistant boot, shoe and clog maker to his father in the family business at Mill Hey, the corner property of this row of shops is now a cafe.
In 1915 at the age of 29, he married Martha Myra Spence (aged 28 years), the daughter of Michael Spence, a Flour Miller and Louisa Spence, of Haworth. Their marriage was performed by J. W. Story, Rector of St Michael and All Angels Parish Church in Haworth.
Their daughter Laura Lascelles Mitchell was born on 21st July 1916. Arnold had joined the Army in Keighley in November 1916 under the Military Service Act as a conscripted man - but probably went overseas early in 1917.
John started out with the 7th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment but was reportedly attached to the 2nd Battalion for a period leading up to his death when he was killed in action on the 12th March 1917. His medal roll backs up this information showing he was in both battalions.

Keighley News report dated 21st April 1917. HAWORTH:
Mrs Arnold Mitchell, of Alice Street, Haworth, has received intimation from the War Office that her husband, Private John Arnold Mitchell, was killed in action on March 15. (actually on the 12th)
Private Mitchell, who was a son of Mr John Mitchell, boot and shoe maker, Mill Hey, Haworth, joined the forces last November. He was attached to the South Staffordshire Regiment.

Shortly after John was killed, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line. John has no known resting place and is one of the many thousands of missing soldiers from WW1.
His name is recorded on Pier and Face 7 B of the Thiepval memorial, The Somme in France which contains the names of 72,195 men who have no known grave in the Somme region, who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918.

His wife Martha Myra Mitchell, would have received his British War Medal and Victory Medal after the war along with his Memorial Plaque and Scroll.
He is remembered locally on the Haworth War Memorial and the Haworth Rolls of Honour in St Michael and All Angels Church.

Source information:
Birth, marriage and death records.
1898, 1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
Haworth War Memorial. Bridgehouse Road, Haworth.
Haworth's Great War roll of honour at St Michael and All Angel's Church, Haworth.

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