Frederick Samuel Arnold

Date of birth:                    28th August 1895
Place of birth:                  Mitcham, Surrey
Service No.:                      25430
Rank:                                   Private
Regiment / Division:     New Zealand Machine Gun Corps
Battalion:                            No. 1 Company
Died:                                     4th October 1917 aged 22 years
Death Location:               Ypres, Belgium

Before the War
Frederick’s parents were Walter (b. 1864) and Elizabeth Arnold (nee Hooper b. 1859).  They were married on 22ndJuly 1883 in Kingston Surrey.

Frederick’s 8 siblings were:
Twins – Fanny Julia and Sarah Bessie (b. 19th January 1884)
Alice Mary (b. 1885)
Albert Edward (b. 1887)
William Arthur (b. 12th August 1890)
Harry (b. 1891)
Sophia Rosa (b. 16th April 1893)
Charles Wallis (b . 13th April 1897, d. 1898.

On the 1901 census Frederick is living with his father who is working as a baker.  The census shows Walter’s wife is Alice who he married in 1898, and they are living at 14 Waterfall Road, Mitcham with  Sarah, Albert, William, Harry and Sophia.

The 1911 census shows Frederick living at 133 Haydons Road, Wimbledon with his father and sister Sophia.  He is working as an assistant house decorator with his father.  His mother, Elizabeth is working as a servant in Eltham for the Coutts family.

Frederick emigrated to New South Wales Australia and then to New Zealand.  He was living at 28 Hohiria Road, Haitaitai, Wellington with his brother William Arthur, who owned his own business.  Frederick worked for his brother as a tyre mechanic.  William is on the 1911 New Zealand Electoral rolls.

William joined the New Zealand Army Reserve but appealed to be exempt from military service on the grounds of a good family record. One of his brothers, presumably Frederick, had been killed and another was serving in the Navy and one in the Imperial army. William was granted leave.

Military History
Frederick enlisted as a private in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 30th May 1916 and was posted to the Machine Gun Corps on 16th June 1916.

He was part of the 18th Reinforcements, Specialised Machine Gun Section which embarked on 16thOctober 1916 from Wellington, New Zealand aboard H.M.T. Willochra (transport no. HMNZT 66).

Willochra was a steel twin screw passenger ship and was requisitioned by the New Zealand Government 17thNovember 1914 for trooping duties.  Another vessel, Tofua, also embarked the same day. Between them they carried a total of 2024 troops from the 12th Reinforcements 1st & 2nd Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade & 9th Reinforcements 3rd, 4th Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade. They arrived in Devonport on 28th December 1916.

The troops were sent to Sling Camp, which was an annexe of Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.  At this camp there were also New Zealand troops who had served in Gallipoli.  A giant chalk kiwi was created in the hill by troops who were still at the camp at the end of the war.  It is known as the Bulford Kiwi.

Frederick left for France on 24thApril 1917. He was wounded in action 25thJune 1917. He was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele on 4th October 1917.

When Frederick died his next of kin was named as his mother Mrs. E Arnold of 36 Beech Road, Millbrook, Southampton and on his military records it states that his father is deceased (on Ancestry there is a death for a Walter Arnold in 1915).

He was awarded the Victory Medal, also called the Allied Victory Medal, and the British War Medal.  These were sent to his mother.

He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial at the Tyne Cot Cemetery which is located near Passchendaele, Belgium.

The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the major battles of World War 1 and was fought by British, ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand), Canadian and South African soldiers.  The aim was to take control of the village of Passchendaele and then advance to the Belgium coast to capture the German submarine bases.  On two days in October 1917 in the farmlands of Belgium, New Zealand suffered two of its greatest tragedies. On 4thOctober 490 New Zealand servicemen were killed. Eight days later on 12thOctober there was an even greater loss. Of 3000 casualties on that day over 840 young New Zealanders were killed or wounded

In 1925 a proposal was agreed to name a steam locomotive ‘in memory of those members of the New Zealand Railways who fell in the Great War’ .  Out of a total workforce of 14,000 there were more than 5000 railway men who served between 1914 and 1918.  450 were killed. The name Passchendaele was chosen from a list that included Somme, Ypres and Le Quesnoy.  In summer of 1925 -1926 the locomotive starred in the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition and in 1927 it was used to pull the Duke and Duchess of York’s royal train in the South Island.

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