Arthur Shipley

machine gun corps badgePrivate, 61780, 136th Company, Machine Gun Corps (formerly 22605, Yorkshire Light Infantry and 19588, Leicestershire Regiment), killed in action, 9th March 1917, aged 21

Born at Luddington in 1895, Arthur was the son of Thomas Belton and Elizabeth Shipley (nee Oades). His father was a farm labourer from Amcotts, and his mother was from Luddington. The family lived in the High Street.

In 1911 Arthur was working for Peter Halkon at his farm in Eastoft Road, Luddington. However by the time he joined the army he had moved to Swinefleet.

Arthur attested for the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) at Goole in late 1915 (or early 1916) alongside his cousin John William Shipley. From his service number it most likely that once he had completed his training, Arthur was posted alongside John to join the 6th (Service) Battalion KOYLI who had been in France since May 1915.

At some point in his service, most likely after a period at home recuperating from an injury, Arthur was transferred to the Leicestershire Regiment. It would appear he was posted to Mesopotamia to serve with the 2nd Battalion who were serving there with 28th Infantry Brigade in 7th Merrut Division and from the 2nd Leicester’s was further transferred to 136th Company, Machine Gun Corps in the same brigade.

In December 1916 the British Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force had begun their offensive campaign in the Middle East. Following the recapture of Kut on 24th February they marched towards Baghdad. Arriving on 8th March their first assault on the city on 9th March was repulsed by the Turkish defenders, but the second attack on 11th March recaptured the city.

Arthur Shipley was one of those to loose his life in the attack on Baghdad on 9th March. He has no known grave and is commemorated with the other casualties of the Mesopotamian Campaign on the Basra Memorial.

Arthur is remembered on Swinefleet War Memorial. John survived the war and was a Sergeant by the armistice.