Arthur Riley, Private 9941, 11th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 15th July 1916 in Somme, France, aged 19
Arthur Riley was born in 1896 in Nantwich, the son of Mary and Edward Riley, an iron founder at the London & North Western Railway locomotive works. In 1901, four year old Arthur was living at 10 Grosvenor Street, Monks Coppenhall, near Crewe, with his parents and siblings Edith (20), George Henry (16), Leah (14), Osborne (12), Edward (10), Ernest (2) and baby Thomas (3 months), together with his parents’ one year old granddaughter Elsie and two lodgers, Henry Lea and Edward Harnutt.
Arthur’s mother died in 1908, and this may be when Arthur was sent to Macclesfield Industrial School. He was recorded at that school in the 1911 census, learning the trade of brushmaking, and left the school in August 1912, returning to Crewe.
Arthur joined the Cheshire Regiment in Crewe at the outbreak of the war and, after training, was drafted to France on 22nd February 1915. He was reported wounded on 25th September 1915 but rejoined his regiment after treatment.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier of 5th August 1916:
INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL ROLL OF HONOUR
A letter has been received at the Macclesfield Certified Industrial School stating that … Arthur Riley, of the Cheshire Regiment, had died from wounds on July 15th. Riley left the school in August 1912, and at the outbreak of war he joined the Cheshire Regiment. He was slightly wounded early last year, but he again returned to France and has there met his death.
His death was also reported in the Manchester Evening News of 2nd August 1916:
SIX SOLDIER SONS: TWO KILLED
Mr E Riley of 23 Chesterfield St, Crewe, has received notification of the death on July 15 from shot wounds of his son, Private Arthur Riley, of the Cheshires. This is the second son Mr Riley has lost, Private Edward Riley, of the Welsh Fusiliers, having previously been killed in the trenches. Mr Riley has four other soldier sons serving in the war.
In Macclesfield, Private Arthur Riley is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial. Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the memorial lychgate at St Michael’s Church, Coppenhall, Crewe.
Brother of Edward Riley, who served as Private 3839 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was killed in action on 23rd November 1914; and of Percy, Osborne, George and Thomas who also served.