Private 1788 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died 30 June 1915 from wounds, buried Croop Hill Cemetery, New Bilton, Rugby
Arthur was born in Shipton under Wychwood, Oxfordshire in 1883, son of Walter Coombes, a carpenter, and his wife Ann nee Barnes. His mother died when he was very young, and in 1891 his father married Fanny Maria Kilby as his second wife. Arthur aged 7 was living at home with them in 1891 in Shipton under Wychwood, his father’s occupation then is given as painter.
By 1901 Arthur now aged 18 had joined the Army, and was a private in the Rifle Brigade stationed at New Barracks, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire. He presumably served his years and was discharged, as in 1911 he was a farm labourer at Mears Ashby in Northamptonshire, at Hill Farm run by John Beaty. Soon after this he moved to Rugby where he worked for British Thompson Houston (BTH) in the winding department. He married Lucy Warburton in Rugby in 1914, they had a son Arthur born early the following year who sadly died soon afterwards, so poor Lucy lost son and husband within a few months of each other.
As a previously serving soldier, Arthur would have been called up at the outbreak of war into a territorial unit. His records have not survived, but Soldiers Died in the Great War tells us that he was born in Shipton under Wychwood, and lived at New Bilton, Rugby. He enlisted in Rugby and served in the 1st Bt Royal Warwickshire Regiment. According to his medal card (in the name of Coombs) he was posted to France on 21 April 1915; he was wounded and presumably sent back to England as he died in Rugby from his wounds on 30 Jun 1915. He is buried in Grave G138 in Croop Hill Cemetery, New Bilton, and is also commemorated on the BTH Memorial which was moved from its position outside the former works when the site was redeveloped, and is now situated in Technology Drive. He does not appear on the Shipton under Wychwood memorial, which confirms that he had severed his links with his birthplace many years before.
Arthur was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM