Sear, Arthur Henry. Died 10th Mar 1917

Arthur Henry Sear was born in Frankton in 1880 and was baptised there on 15th February. His father Levi George (known as George) Sear was a coachman born in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire. His mother was Ellen Pacey born in Norton Lindsey, Warwickshire. They married in Leamington on 18th August 1873.

Arthur had an elder brother Ernest Frederick Walter (born 1875) and a sister Gertrude Ellen (born 1876)

By 1891 the family were living at 30 Union Street, Rugby. George, aged 40 was listed as Ret(ired) and, in the disabilities column “Invalid”. He died in early 1892. By 1901 Arthur was living with his widowed mother and sister at 24 Round Street. He was aged 21 and a domestic gardener. Gertrude married in 1906, and by 1911 George was living alone with his mother at the same address. He was a jobbing gardener. Ellen Sear died in 1913.

Arthur Henry Sear joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment in February 1915 as a private, number 16879. The Rugby Advertiser of 27th Feb, reported that he was one of only four recruited that week. The total number from Rugby had passed 2,200.

He arrived in France on 23rd Jun 1915, shortly after the regiment had fought in the Battle of Festubert, with many casualties. He would have taken part in the Battle of Loos in autumn 1915. In 1916 came the Delville Wood and the Battle of the Ancre.

At the start of March 1917 the Royal Berkshires were camped at Poziers, moving to the front line on the 4th. They were relieved and some men were on fatigue duties at night. It was quiet, there was snow on the 7th and on the 9th preparations were made for a forthcoming attack.

War Diary of 1/R Berks Regt:

10/3/17 Front Line Nr IRLES

At 5.15. am the Batln attacked GREVILLERS TRENCH in conjunction with the 1st K.R.R.C. on the left. The trench was captured at once and a line of posts established in front, to facilitate the digging of a new assembly trench for a future attack. A Company were on the right and established a defensive flank. 100 prisoners (including 1 Officer) 3 Machine Guns and 2 Light Trench Morters were captured.

Casualties Lt BRAZIES killed, 2/lt LAYERS and 2/lt DENHAM wounded.

Other Ranks 10 killed, 83 wounded and 1 missing.

The enemy commenced shelling the captured line at about 12 noon and continued throughout the day, but made no effort to recapture the position.

Shelling continued the next day and the battalion was relieved that night and returned to billet in Albert about 4am on 12th March

Arthur Henry Sear was “killed in action” on 10th March 1917. He must have been one of the 10 other ranks killed. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

His sole legatee was his sister Gertrude who had married Albert John Mann.