Private, 1st/5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. Service No 6712.
Arthur was born in Keighley 1886, son of Robert and Alice Rhodes. His father was an insurance agent. Aged 5 in 1891, he was living at 56, Bradford Street, Keighley with his parents, sister Sarah and brother John. In 1901 they lived at 3, Rupert Street, Keighley with his parents and sisters Sarah and Alice Ann. In December of 1901 he was appointed as an assistant postman at Keighley. He became a full postman in July 1906.
Aged 24 in 1910, he married Susannah Judson, also 24, at St. Mary's Church, Eastwood. They lived at 31, Park Grove, Keighley in 1911, and had moved along the road to number
81 by 1913.
He enlisted in May of 1916, in 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, service no. 41794. In late September or early October he arrived in France and probably transferred to the 1st/5th battalion at this time with a new service no. of 6712. He will have taken part in the battles of the Somme. In November 1916 he was taken ill and hospitalised with an abscess, but died on the way back to England on 27th November. He was buried on 9th December
in Utley Cemetery, Section H. New. 525. He was just 31 years old.
Keighley News 9th December 1916:
The funeral took place with Military honours at the Keighley cemetery on Saturday afternoon last, of Private Arthur Rhodes, who died the previous Monday from septic anaemia. He went out to the front about nine weeks ago. He had only been there a few weeks when he went out with a working party to obtain supplies. As the party was returning to the trenches he stumbled and being unable to stand a comrade carried him to the lines, and later he was removed to a dressing station. He was found to be suffering from a serious abscess and was ordered to a general hospital where he stayed for about three weeks. He died while being removed to England. A party of 18 soldiers, including a firing party of six from the West Riding Regiment at Halifax attended and at the cemetery the soldiers lined up whilst the mourners passed through.
Arthur served as a postman at Keighley, and the funeral was attended by Mr Richards (Postmaster) and many of the Keighley Post Office staff and a number of postmen attended as bearers. The last post was sounded over his grave.”
Arthur was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his war service.
Arthur is remembered in Keighley's Great War Roll of Honour book in Keighley Library, also the Post Office War Memorial plaque in Keighley Postal Sorting Office, and the Victoria Park Wesleyan Methodist War Memorial, which is the care of Cliffe Castle Museum.
Birth, Marriage and Death records.
Census records for 1891, 1901 and 1911.
British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969.
British Army Service Records, medal rolls.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Keighley News - newspaper archives held at Keighley Library.