Arthur Thorley Winter

lincolnshire regimental badgePrivate, 3118, 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action 7th September 1915, aged 33

Born at Cowle on 16th December 1882, Arthur, brother of Harry and Harold, was the eldest of the fourteen children of George and Sarah Hannah Winter (nee Thorley). His father was from Ealand and his mother from Crowle. The family lived in Gas Road where his father worked as a labourer, initially for local farmers and from 1901 at the Peat Works.

Arthur was a shunter for the Trent Ironworks at Scunthorpe when he married Annie Johnson at Scunthorpe Registry Office on 13th February 1907. The couple had five children and lived in Manley Street.

Arthur joined the Lincolnshire Regiment shortly after his brothers enlisting at Scunthorpe in October 1914. Following his training he embarked for France with the 5th Lincoln’s, arriving with them in Le Harve on 1st March 1915. Once in France they spent a few weeks training before moving on 9th April to the front line trenches near Kemmel. Nothing they had done in their training prepared them for the horror and reality of what they found in the trenches there, disease, vermin and ‘dead bodies are even half exposed in the parados’. Another rude awaking occurred in May when they suffered several casualties when a German mine was detonated under their trenches.

From May 1915 the unit was renamed the 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and in June they marched with the rest of their Division to trenches south of Hoog for their first experience of the Ypres area. In early September they moved to a new set of trenches in the same area, just as the weather broke. Incessant rain reduced the trenches to mud alleys, the parapets fell in and required constant repair. In addition to the weather they were subjected to regular shelling and mortar fire of their position by German artillery.

It was probably one of these random artillery attacks on 7th September 1915 that took the life of Arthur Winter, the day before the Battalion were due to move out of the area. Buried at the time in a battlefield grave the site of  which is now lost, Arthur is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Arthur is also commemorated with his brothers on their parent’s headstone in Crowle Cemetery.