Arthur Greenway

Died aged 20. 13 Nov 1896 – 20 Oct 1916.
Private 460078, 44th Battalion (New Brunswick) Regiment, Canadian Infantry Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Arthur was born on the 13th November 1896 at the family home at Causeway, Watchet, and baptised on 3 January 1897 in St Decumans, Somerset, son of Jonathan Greenway (born Ireland) and his wife Charlotte (nee Prince). Jonathan was a coastguard, and had been born in Ireland. Charlotte was born in Clovelly, Devon.

At the time of the 1901 census Arthur (aged 3) was living at 2 Coastguard Station, Minehead, with parents Jonathan (38, a coastguard) and Charlotte (40), and siblings John P (7), Annie L (6), William (2) and Fred (1 month).

Within 5 years, the family had moved to Dunster. When he was just a few days short of his tenth birthday, Arthur’s mother Charlotte died aged 46 of pulmonary phthisis at West Cottage, Dunster on the 4th of November 1906 and was buried on 8 Nov 1906 in Dunster. Her husband Jonathan, present at her death, gave his occupation as ‘Navy Pensioner and rural postman’ when he registered her death.

Arthur’s father Jonathan remarried, to a lady called Mary Dean, early in 1911. Arthur, aged 14, was working as an errand boy and lived in Avill Road, Dunster, Somerset, with his father Jonathan (48, a postman), stepmother Mary (37), and siblings John P (17, an errand boy), William (12) and Fred (10).

In 1913, aged 16, Arthur set sail from Southampton for Portland, Maine, his final destination was Winnipeg in Canada. He gave his occupation as gardener and stableman; his next of kin as his father John Greenway of West Street, Dunster.

Arthur was aged 18 years and 10 months old and working as a farmer when he attested at Winnipeg, Canada on the 27th of August 1915, joining the 44th Battalion (New Brunswick) Regiment, Canadian Infantry Canadian Expeditionary Force. His service record gives a good physical description of him: he was 5’ 8” tall, had a ruddy complexion and fair hair, and brown eyes.

Arthur returned to England with the CEF and arrived in Bordon (in Hampshire) on the 11th April 1916, where he spent a month before being transferred to Bramshott. It was not long before he left for France with the 44th Bn, Canadian Infantry, disembarking in France on the 10th August 1916.

Following the Battle of Thiepval Ridge from 26–28 September during the Battle of the Somme, British attacks continued, and included The Battle of the Ancre Heights (1 October – 11 November 1916). British possession of the heights would deprive the German 1st Army of observation towards Albert to the south-west and give the British observation north over the Ancre valley to the German positions around Beaumont-Hamel, Serre and Beaucourt.

Tragically after just 14 weeks in France, having spent just over a year as a soldier, Arthur was killed in action aged 20 on 20 Oct 1916.

Arthur’s will says “In the event of my death I will give the whole of my property and effects to my father Jonathan Greenway, Hopcraft Terrace, Alcombe, Somerset.”

Arthur is commemorated on the plaques in St George’s Church and on the Memorial Hall in Dunster, Somerset, and on the Vimy Canadian National Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, in northern France.