Transport of Wounded and Hospital Duties
Born on 27th November 1858 in Newbury, Berkshire, Arthur Blackwell was the son of Thomas Blackwell, a brewer's labourer and Mary Ann Blackwell nee Dibley. He was one of at least seven children. His siblings were Martha (1847), Thomas (1852), Elizabeth (1854), George (1857), Alfred (1862) and Edward (1865). (Siblings' years of birth are approximate according to census records).
In 1861 the family lived at Lewes Buildings in Newbury.
In 1871 Arthur, despite being only 12 years old, was working as a farm labourer and appears to have lived where he worked at a farm in Kintbury, Berkshire. His parents were still alive and living in Newbury with his younger siblings.
In 1881 Arthur had moved to Bolton in Bradford and was lodging with a family named Dixon. He was working as a signalman for Midland Railway.
On 21st May 1884 Arthur married Sarah Elizabeth Julian from Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland at the Parish Church in Bolton, Bradford. They moved to Bingley briefly before settling in Keighley.
In 1891 they lived at 10 Ash Street. They had three children - Gilbert Edward (3), Marion (2) and Walter James (one month). Arthur's mother, widowed by then, was living with them.
By 1901 Arthur and Sarah had another daughter, Ellen. Gilbert was working as a telegraph messenger and Marion was a worsted spinner. They lived at 18 Plover Street.
In 1911 they had moved to 3 Owl Street. It was documented here that Arthur and Sarah had three children who had died in infancy - they were Eva Mary (1885-1886), Mary Alice (1895-1899) and Thomas Arthur (1897-1899). Arthur was still working as a railway signalman, Gilbert was a postman, Marion a confectioner, Walter an iron merchant's clerk and Ellen a dressmaker.
Arthur worked at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital undertaking hospital duties as well as transporting wounded soldiers, from May 1916 until May 1919, as a corporal. Both of his sons were serving - Gilbert with the 9th Border Regiment and Walter with the Machine Gun Corps. Thankfully both survived and were awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Some time later Arthur, Sarah and Marion moved to Heysham. On the 1939 Register they were living at 10 Balmoral Avenue. Arthur was a retired signalman by then.
He died during the second quarter of 1947, registered in Lancaster, at the age of 88.
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1861 England Census
1871 England Census
1881 England Census
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1837-1935
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007