Arthur Thomas Boothman

east yorkshire regimental badgePrivate, 12/1514, 12th (Service) Battalion (3rd Hull) (Hull Sportsmen), East Yorkshire Regiment, killed in action, 24th July 1916, aged 28

Born at Crowle in September 1887, Arthur was the second son and one of five children of Thomas and Ada Harriet Boothman (nee Kelsey). His mother was from Crowle and his father was a joiner from Kellington, Yorkshire. When Arthur was born the family lived in North End.

The family moved to Hull c1900 where Thomas worked as a coach body builder. In 1901 they lived in Sculcoates and Arthur worked as an errand boy. In 1911 they were still in Sculcoates and Arthur was a bricklayer. Following his father’s death in 1916, his widow moved back to Crowle and lived in Mill Road.

Arthur enlisted in the East Yorkshire Regiment at Hull in 1914 or early 1915. The Battalion he joined was the 12th Service Battalion, more often known as the Sportsmen and Athletes, so presumably he was a sportsman himself?

In May 1915 The Battalion joined the 92nd Brigade, 31st Division moving to Penkridge Bank Camp near Rugeley, then later to South Camp, Ripon and Hurdcott Camp near Salisbury. In December 1915 they set sail for Alexandria in Egypt to defend the Suez Canal arring on 28th December.

At the end of February 1916 it was decided the Division would be better employed in France. They sailed from Port Said on 1st March and arrived in Marseille a week later. They travelled by train to Pont Remy, a few miles south east of Abbeville and marched to Bertrancourt on The Somme, arriving on 2nd April. Following a few days rest they saw their first action in the trenches at Bus-les-Artois on 12th April.

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme the 12th East Yorkshire’s were in reserve at Bus-les-Artois and played little part in the action before their Division was withdrawn a few days later. They moved north to Pont-du-Hem, near Estaires, arriving on 15th July. On 19th July they repelled a German attack on their trenches and then undertook their own unsuccessful trench raid.

Later the same day they moved out of the front line for a few days rest, returning at 6.00pm on the evening of 24th July. They stayed at the front for another uneventful few days before being relieved and returning to billets at Richebourg L’Avoue on 30th July.

In their tour of the trenches from 15th July the 12th East Yorkshire’s lost only 3 men killed and 16 wounded. One of the three unfortunates was Arthur Boothman. He is buried in St Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg L’Avoue.

Although not remembered on Crowle War Memorial, Arthur is remembered on the plaque to former members of the congregation and Sunday School in Crowle Methodist Chapel.