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Arthur James Prior
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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #1
18-11-2009 08:41 PM

Arthur Prior was killed at Forrest Hill Station, Lewisham on 3rd January 1915. He was serving with the National Reserve, Middlesex Battalion (13th Company). He was 32 and left a widow and 5 young children.

Can anyone give me any information on the incident? Does anyone know if he is commemorated anywhere?

I realise this is a long shot but I have exhausted all other avenues.

Many thanks,
Sandie

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johnnyb7


Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
19-11-2009 10:28 PM

hello Sandy

Have you tried the local studies centre of Lewisham Library. They have microfilm of the Forest Hill, Sydenham and Penge Examiner from 1895 to 1933.

Might be a mention of the man in there.

Good Luck

Johnnyb7

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #3
20-11-2009 05:23 PM

Many thanks for your reply. Unfortunetly I don't live in London but I will contact the library to see if they can help.
Thanks again,
Sandie

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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #4
20-11-2009 11:35 PM

Hello Sandie,
May I ask if you are looking for information on Arthur Prior with regard to Military History or for personal reasons ie Family History?

Regards

Sue

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #5
20-11-2009 11:53 PM

Hi Scorpion,

I'm helping a friend in Canada with his family history. His Grandfather was Arthur Prior. His Father was one of the small children left fatherless when Arthur was killed.
At the moment all we know is he was serving with the National Reserve (Middlesex Battalion) when he was killed at Forrest Hill Station.
He is trying to find Arthur's service number so that he can find out if his Grandmother was awarded a widow's pension from the army.

Many thanks for your reply.
Regards,
Sandie

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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #6
21-11-2009 12:06 AM

Hi again Sandie

OK. Well I don't have any details as to that incident, but I did find, on a search, a link to a website
Malta Family History
and if you scroll down to the 80th named person, you will see
"Frederick Herbert BOURNE, aged 27 years, bachelor, Sergeant, Royal West Kent Regiment, the son of Herbert Bourne, married 14th October 1942, to Dorothy Lilian PRIOR, aged 26 years, spinster, the daughter of Arthur Prior"

Could the Arthur Prior named at the end of that entry, be your friend's Grandfather?

I hope this helps in some way Smile

Sue

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #7
21-11-2009 12:13 AM

Thank you Sue,

I have no idea of his father's siblings names but there was a new baby in the house when Arthur was killed. It's possible Dorothy was that baby.
Haven't a clue what time it is in Ontario but will send him the information straight away!

Many, many thanks for your help.
Regards,
Sandie

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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #8
22-11-2009 04:41 PM

Hi Sandie,
Just wondering (and interested) if the info I provided via a weblink, was any help at all, or if the Arthur Prior mentioned is not the one your friend is seeking information on?

Regards
Sue

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #9
23-11-2009 08:14 PM

Hi Sue,
I haven't heard from him, sorry. He goes fishing a lot, sometimes for days on end. I'm hoping now that the weekend is over he will be back at home.
As soon as I hear anything I'll let you know.

Kind regards,
Sandie

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Les


Posts: 95
Joined: Jan 2004
Post: #10
24-11-2009 12:16 AM

I'm not an expert at all, but I do know that South London (including Forest Hill and Sydenham) was subject to airship raids during WWI - this sounds like one of the few credible ways your relative could have been lost in action in the area. Worth a search?

Best of luck,
Les.

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Les


Posts: 95
Joined: Jan 2004
Post: #11
24-11-2009 12:19 AM

Search for 1915 airship raid:

1915 May 7th Following the sinking of the Lusitania, anti-German riots broke out across London and many shops owned by people with German-sounding names were attacked.
1915 May 31st A Zeppelin dropped 90 incendiary and explosive bombs on east London killing five and injuring thirty-five people.
1915 July 19th Kitchener personally began his recruitment campaign at the Guildhall.
1915 September 7th Zeppelin raids kill sixteen people in south London.
1915 September 8th The first bomb to fall on the City of London hit Fenchurch Street. A Zeppelin was chased all over London by British aeroplanes.
1915 September 8th Zeppelin raids kill sixteen people in east London.
1915 September 14th A grand assembly at the Guildhall launches a new conscription drive.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #12
24-11-2009 09:17 AM

I don't know if his death certificate has been obtained but it will help by giving a date, cause and location of death which would help narrow the search down.

Between Jan-Mar 1915 the death of a Arthur J. Prior aged 32 was registered in Lewisham, Vol: 1d Page: 1733.

If that is the same Arthur Prior then it he probably died between December 1914 and March 1915.

According to the internet the first London Zeppelin raid was not till 31 May 1915.

There is a forum where World War One questions can be raised with many specialists ready to answer questions and provide advice. You will need to register to ask a question.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #13
24-11-2009 09:44 PM

Re-reading your original message I see you did give the date of Arthur's death, from which it's been possible to find out what happened.

On 3rd January 1915 Private Arthur James Prior of the 13th Company, Middlesex Battalion, National Reserve was on sentry duty guarding a signal box beside the up line (London bound) at Forest Hill station.

At around 11:40pm he was struck by a train, possibly from behind, and died. A fellow soldier who was a witnesses at the inquest considered the sentry box to be in a very dangerous position, "the margin of safety being very little."

The jury gave a verdict of "Accidental death".

I'll upload a transcript of a newspaper report later.

So far I haven't found anything about his army service but may have found further personal details.

I think I've located his marriage in 1904 and the name of his wife, plus his home address when he died. I believe I've found him in the 1911 Census with his wife and three children, further to that I've found birth records of two children and another birth after he died.

Let me know if any of that information is of interest and I'll will forward it to you, I haven't given details incase those people are still alive.

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #14
25-11-2009 07:39 PM

I'm thrilled with the response to my post. Many thanks to all that have shown an interest.
Johnny:
A very helpful person from Lewisham Library has emailed me, I'm waiting for information from Canada before I reply.
Sue:
Still no reply, sorry.
Les:
It was very plausible and worth looking into. Thank you for searching for me.
ForestGump:
Wow! I'd be interested in all of it! Thank you so much.
I have joined a couple of WW1 forums. Information received has all been about the Middlesex Regiment not the N.R. M'sex Battalion.

I really thought joining this site was a long shot but I'm delighted I decided to post my query. Thanks again to everyone.
See you soon,
Sandie

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dipsolala


Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008
Post: #15
25-11-2009 11:41 PM

I'm so pleased you found this forum to be of help, i'm sure you may have felt at times you were clutching at straws.

I have been watching these/your posts with interest from a local and genealogical point of view, and am glad you have some information you can move forward with. That people take their time to research and look at likely sources of information for someone they don't know is really heart warming to me. I wish more of it went on.

Good luck with your future discoveries

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #16
26-11-2009 12:26 PM

Hello Sandie,
Hopefully you will find attached two transcripts of Newspaper reports of 8 January 1915. Please excuse any spelling mistakes etc as it was converted digitally to a word document.


.doc File  Kentish Mercury.doc (Size: 22.5 KB / Downloads: 251)


.doc File  Gazette.doc (Size: 25 KB / Downloads: 292)

Note one and of the articles gives his name as 'John' and his wife's name as 'Eva', living at 25 Nelson Street, Harrow-on-the-Hill

An Arthur James PRIOR married a Mary Eva GATES between Oct-Dec 1904 at Hendon, Middlesex reference Vol: 3a Page: 456.

This couple with 3 children appear on the 1911 census at this website http://www.1911census.co.uk/ which has a pay-as-you-go option.

From the 1911 census you should be able to confirm they are the correct couple and what follows and in an email is correct.

Arthur James PRIOR
Birth: 1884 Jan-Mar, Berkhampstead Vol: 3a Page: 572

Christening: 8 Mar 1884, Tring, Hertfordshire
Born: 22 Dec 1883 Father: James Mother: Sarah
Source: British Isles Vital Records Index

In 1901 Arthur appears to have left home and is working at the "Rose and Crown", Tring, Hertfordshire as a Stable Lad/Groom.

Aged 8 the 1891 Census shows Arthur with his parents John, a General Labourer and Sarah in Tring along with a sister Annie aged 5 and James mother Anne.

I haven't been able to confirm his parents wedding but a James Prior married a Sarah KEMPSTER or BOSHAN in 1883 Oct-Nov at Berkhampstead, Reference Vol: 3a Page: 775.

I have found details of Arthur's wife's family, in addition there may be relatives of your friend in Canada who have further details which I will forward to you in an email.

Finally, try the local library where they lived as it may have the widow's story?

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #17
26-11-2009 07:53 PM

Hello Dipsolala and thank you for your comments.
I, too, am thrilled at the response and interest of total strangers. People willing to help someone they will never know.
When I first found this forum I said to Brian (Canada) "I'll have a go but it was so long ago we'll probably never hear a thing"
How wrong I was!
Kindest regards,
Sandie

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Sandie Hayes


Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #18
26-11-2009 08:01 PM

ThumbsupForest Gump! What can I say? Thank you seems so inadequate. I'm delighted with everything you have posted, I can't wait to pass it on. I can't believe you've gone to so much trouble on my behalf.
We assumed Arthur had been killed by a train but, to be honest, it was just a guess.
I'll follow up all your leads and buy myself a membership for the 1911 Census.
Brian and I are forever in your debt.
Again many thanks,
Sandie

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Hawkesrah


Posts: 69
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #19
13-12-2009 11:14 PM

Sandie
Out of academic interest how was Arthur killed. I cant imagine much action at Forest Hill station in 1915 unless it was an air raid

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