Arthur Thompson

The Following Biography was written by Gail Brumfitt

Arthur Thompson 

Cap Badge of the Machinegun Corps

Cap Badge of the Machinegun Corps

Arthur was born in Birkenhead and was the youngest of four children born to James (1843-1930) and Elizabeth Thompson (neé Burgess 1841-1916). Arthur’s older siblings were May Burgess Thompson (1867-1955); Annie Maud (1871-?); and James Philip (1874-?). James was a surveyor for HM Customs Service and after his marriage to Elizabeth the family obviously moved around for his work, as they lived in a different county each census year. James was the son of James (1808-1869) and Eliza Thompson (neé Bratt 1809-1877). The Thompson family originated in Macclesfield, Cheshire, where they had been silk weavers for many generations. Elizabeth Burgess was the daughter of Joseph (born about 1811) and Rachel Burgess (nee Royle born 1812). Both the Burgess and Royle families were also silk weavers from Macclesfield, which was at one stage the world’s largest producer of finished silk.

In 1891 Arthur and his family were living at 111 De Gray Street, Cottingham, Kingston upon Hull where James was employed as a Surveying Officer of Customs, aged 47 and born in Macclesfield. Elizabeth was aged 50 also born in Macclesfield. May and Annie were born in Liverpool and aged 23 and 19 respectively, and James junior and Arthur were born in Birkenhead and aged 16 and 9 respectively.

James and Elizabeth were living at 565 Chester Road, Stretford, Lancashire in 1901 but their children, apart from May who was still with them, had all left home. Arthur had commenced work and moved to London where he was boarding with Eleanor Scott, 64 year old widow and her family at 13 Alwyne Square, Islington. Arthur was employed as a 2nd Division Clerk for the GPO. Four other boarders were living there and worked for the Customs Service, the Local Government Board and the GPO. The British Postal Service appointment books for 1902 reveal that Arthur was employed as a Clerk 3rd class for the London Money Order Office (MOO).

Postal Service Appointment Book 1902: Arthur Thompson's entry is visible.

Postal Service Appointment Book 1902: Arthur Thompson’s entry is visible.

In 1909 Arthur married Lucie Jeanne Harrand (1878-1941) in Islington. Lucie was born in New Cross and was the daughter of Felix and Louisa Harrand. Felix was a chrome lithographer born in Russia. After their marriage, Arthur and Lucie lived at 21 Coleridge Road, Crouch End, London where they can be seen on the 1911 census. Arthur’s father, James, had finished working for Customs by 1911 and he Elizabeth had retired to 19 Victoria Road, West Kirby, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

The Thompson Family in the 1911 Census in West Kirby

The Thompson Family in the 1911 Census in West Kirby

Along with so many others, Arthur’s service records did not survive, but he enlisted at Crouch End, Middlesex into the London Regiment, and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. There were many battalions within the London Regiment but it is not known to which he was posted. The Book of Remembrance reveals that Arthur was killed at Loos, France.

Arthur Thompson's Medal Card gives a brief and forlorn impression of another precious life lost during the Great War.

Arthur Thompson’s Medal Card gives a brief and forlorn impression of another precious life lost during the Great War.

Notes
Birth:  1882 Birkenhead
Death:  28th June 1917 killed in action age 35
Address:  111 De Gray Street, Cottingham, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire (91); 13 Alwyne Square, Islington, London (01); 21 Coleridge Road, Crouch End, London (11-17)
Occupation:  Post Office Clerk
Unit:  Machine Gun Corps formerly London Regiment
Number and Rank:  Private 54941 formerly 1549
Medals:  Victory and British War Medal
Commemorated and Buried:  WK; Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Extension II C 6
Sources:  CWGC, SDGW, MC, BR, Census: 91, 01, 11

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