Arthur Neville Cropper Bury, Private 3517, 2nd/7th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Died of illness 25th May 1918 in Macclesfield, aged 31
Arthur Neville Cropper Bury was born in 1886, the son of Mary Jane and Benjamin Cropper Bury, an earthenware tile manufacturer of 15 Byron’s Lane, Sutton, south Macclesfield; he was known within the family as Neville. In 1901, fourteen-year-old Arthur was living at the same address with his parents and siblings Margaret Elsie (13), Sarah Gladys (10), Benjamin (9), and Norman (7). Arthur’s father died in June 1901, and in 1911 every member of the family was working, Arthur being employed as a clerk & stock keeper at a shirt mill.
Arthur married Annie Goodwin in 1915 at Church Street West Methodist Chapel, Macclesfield.
Arthur enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps with service number 36777 on 22 September 1914; however, he was discharged on 6 October 1914, probably due to ill-health – the reason given was that he was not likely to become an efficient soldier.
Arthur re-enlisted into the 2nd/7th Cheshire Regiment on 10 April 1915 as Neville Bury. His address was stated to be 15 Byrons Lane, Macclesfield, and he named his mother, of the same address, as his next of kin. He was described at 5 feet 6¾ inches tall, with a 33½ inch chest.
However, Arthur was again discharged from the Army fifteen months later on 10 July 1916, being medically unfit. The medical board report for his pension assessment stated that he lived at 37 Duke Street, Macclesfield (crossed out at a later date and replaced by 2 Vincent Street, Macclesfield) and was suffering from intestinal tuberculosis. Arthur was awarded a silver war badge on 14 February 1917 in recognition of the fact that he had been discharged through sickness.
At a reassessment on 21 November 1917 Arthur was found to have pulmonary tuberculosis and was in a sanitorium in Hyde. A later report in May 1918 awarded his wife an allowance of 15 shillings per week for constant attendance from 12 May until he died on 25 May 1918.
Arthur’s death was announced by the family in the Macclesfield Times on 31 May 1918:
BURY – May 29th, at 2 Vincent Street, Arthur N Cropper Bury, aged 31 years.
Private Arthur Bury is buried at Macclesfield Cemetery in grave ref. O. 11417, marked by a family gravestone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Arthur Bury, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Arthur Bury is commemorated on the St George’s Street Baptist Church war memorial (as N C Bury).
Brother of Benjamin Cropper Bury, who served as Private G/17463 with the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and was killed in action on 11 July 1916 at Somme, France.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages, Deaths
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Courier: 22nd July 1916, 12th August 1916
Macclesfield Times: 31 May 1918