Service number: 16917
Regiment / Service: KOYLI
Family information: Son of Mark and Susannah Grace
Arthur’s military service is not easy to fathom out. It would appear that on the 3 September 1914 he joined the 9th (Service) Battalion of the KOYLI (service number 16917) which was formed at Pontefract in September 1914 as part of K3 and attached to 64th Brigade in 21st Division.
When he enlisted Arthur was described as being 5’6 1/2” tall with a 25 1/4” chest and weighed 134 lbs (9st 7 lbs). He had a pale complexion, brown eyes and dark hair.
His battalion was moved to Berkhamsted and then to Halton Park (Tring) in October 1914, going on to billets in Maidenhead in November then returning to Halton Park in April 1915 and then on to Witley in August. They were sent to France in September 1915.
However, before that Arthur was posted to the 11th (Reserve) Battalion which was formed in Hull in October 1914 for K4, attached to 90th Brigade of original 30th Division. They moved to Harrogate on 10th April 1915 and converted into a reserve battalion. In November 1915 they moved to Rugeley. 1 September 1916 was: converted into 8th Training Reserve Battalion of 2nd Reserve Brigade at Rugeley.
On the 21 February 1916 Arthur was discharged from the service as being medically unfit.
Arthur came from an old Brotherton family traceable to at least the mid 1700’s and well documented in the census returns.
In 1861 55 year old John Grace was living in the High Street with wife Mary nee Campbell who was of Scottish extraction. Both were born in Brotherton and John worked locally as a ‘Lime Burner’. They were married in 1845 and had several children. These were Elizabeth (aged 16), Mary Ann (14), George (12), James (10), Grace (7) and John (2).
By 1871 John had become a ‘farm labourer’ and added to the family. Mark had been born in 1864 and John in 1866. The three eldest boys - George, James and William were all in employment as ‘farm labourers.
Ten years on, in 1881, John had reverted back to the Quarry for employment as a ‘labourer’. The eldest 6 children had left home but there had been some ‘replacements’ with Thomas born in 1871 and Hannah Maria.
In1874. Mark was employed as an ‘Ag lab’ - a farm labourer whilst John was a ‘Messenger Boy’.
Mark Grace married Susannah Sefton from Knottingley on 24 October 1885. They had had 3 boys by 1891 - John William who was born and died in march 1886, Ernest in 1887 and George W. in 1889. Mark was working as a ‘Coal Hewer’ and they were living in the High Street.
Arthur Grace was born on 15 August 1892. Some time afterwards the family moved to Gauk Street which was the road connecting High Street to the Great North Road at the Southerly end of the village.
By 1901 however, the family were in Bk. York St. Castleford. In addition to the three boys there was also a daughter called Nell aged 1.
In 1911 the family had moved to 2 Back Castle Street, Castleford and expanded to include Charles (6) and Alice (3). Mark was still a ‘Hewer’, Ernest was not in the home and both George and Arthur were ‘Pit Pony Drivers’.
After the War no information can be found as to what then happened to Arthur Grace.