Private Arthur Dinsdale

This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
Arthur's mother Margaret was in the workhouse in 1911 and we think Arthur spent time there as well, although he does not appear in any census for the workhouse.

Private, 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) Service number 2301, later 265480.

Private Arthur Dinsdale.

Arthur was born illegitimately at Hermit Hole in Keighley on May 30, 1891 to mother Margaret Dinsdale and he was baptised at St John's Church on July 26. By 1901 he was aged nine and living at 29, Nelson Street in Cross Roads, with his step-father John Haigh, mother Margaret and his two half-brothers John and Henry Haigh, plus his step-grandmother Agnes Haigh age 70. His step-father John was a Cotton weaver and he died in 1905 leaving Margaret to bring up their three sons alone.
Arthur enlisted with the 6th Battalion Territorial West Riding Regiment at Haworth on April 6, 1908 at the age of 17. Regimental number 231. He attended the annual training camps at Redcar, Marske, Peel, Isle of Man and at Ripon. He was living at 144, Hermit Hole, Ingrow and working as a mill hand. He was discharged after four years service on April 5, 1912.
His mother Margaret must have suffered from mental health issues, possibly a breakdown as she was a patient at the Keighley Union Workhouse hospital in the 1911 census and was described as having been an imbecile for one year. Arthur is not recorded in the 1911 Workhouse census but we think he must have spent some time there between 1901 and 1911 because he is named on their roll of honour. Arthur was 22 and a warehouseman living at Lane Ends in Oakworth when on September 6 at Christ Church Oakworth, he married Mary Alice Scott, a 21 year old laundry maid of 24, Brunswick Street, Keighley. They had a daughter Alice, born in Keighley in the last quarter of 1915.
Arthur had enlisted early in the war at Skipton with the 1/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment with the Army number 2301, and went out to France with them on S.S. Onward April 14, 1915, arriving at Boulogne early the next morning. As far as we can tell, he served with the regiment right through the war until 25th April 1918, when he was killed in action at the age of 26 years, when a German shell landed in the stable he was in. The other man who died with him at that time was Private William Frederick Wardman of Bingley. (please click the link to read his story)

1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regimental war diary for April 1918:
Poperinghe. April 25. 9 am.
Enemy continued shelling of Poperinghe during the morning & shell fell in stables killing 2 grooms & severely wounding 5 others. Two horses were hit & had to be destroyed.

He was buried in grave 6, row K, plot II of Poperinghe New Military Cemetery in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium:

Private Arthur Dinsdale's grave in Belgium.

Arthur was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service. Arthur's widow Mary Alice was living at 25, Hermit Street, Ingrow after the war. Her inscription to him on his war grave in Belgium reads: His memory is as fresh to-day as in the hour God called him away. (R.I.P)
As Arthur's next of kin, she would almost certainly have received his medals plus his Great War Memorial Plaque and the King's Certificate.

The electoral rolls for Keighley show Mary Alice Dinsdale living at the following addresses shortly after the war:
1919: 272, Hermit Hole.
1920: 6, Harcourt Street.
1921: 25 Hermit Street.

He is one of the 653 men named in the Keighley Town Clerk's 1914 Enlistments which is at Keighley Library.
He is named on the following local war memorials and rolls of honour:
Keighley's Great War roll of honour book in Keighley Library and also on the Oakworth Centenary roll of honour at Oakworth Community Hall and the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour, which is held at Cliffe Castle Museum. He is also named on the Cross Roads Primitive Methodist Sunday School War Memorial Panel which is on permanent display in the memorial and bowling club building in Cross Roads Park.

Keighley News May 18, 1918, page 3 (includes photograph):
Private Arthur Dinsdale, West Riding Regiment, whose wife resides at Hermit Hole, Ingrow, has been killed. His officer, writing to Mrs Dinsdale, states: "He was killed by shell-fire, and his horse was killed with him. I was at the place very shortly afterwards, and I can say that he suffered no pain. His comrades buried him in a military cemetery close by. He was one of my best men, always cheerful and willing no matter what hour of the day or night he had to turn out. I feel that I have lost a friend as well as a most loyal helper." Private Dinsdale was a Keighley Territorial.

Arthur's younger half-brother John Haigh enlisted in September 1914, but he was discharged after a few months with flat feet, being unable to march any distance.

Source information:
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment war diary WO95 2801-4
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.

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