Arthur William Emsden born and brought up in Suffolk, coming to Essex by 1908. He married two years later and settled in Chelmsford where he was a wines and spirits porter. He had two children, one of whom died in infancy. He was killed in action near Arras in April 1917. His home was in New Writtle Street.

Arthur was born at Somersham, Suffolk in 1887, the son of Frederick William Emsden and Alice Eliza Emsden (Simpson). His father had been born in 1860; his mother in 1863, both in Offton, Suffolk. they had married in 1886 in Suffolk.

Arthur’s siblings, all born at Offton, included Lewis Charles Emsden (born in 1889), Percy George Emsden (born in 1892) and Harriet May Emsden (born in 1897).

In 1891 the census recorded three year-old Arthur living with his parents and brother Lewis at Offton. Arthur’s parents were both agricultural labourers. A decade later the 1901 census found 13 year-old Arthur living with his parents and two younger siblings at Barham Church Road in Barham, Suffolk. Arthur was a farm labourer while his father was a horseman on a farm.

By 1908 Arthur was in Rayleigh, Essex as in February of that year he advertised for work as a carman.


Private, 1st Battalion, London Regiment (formerly of the Cambridgeshire Regiment)

A post-war history of the regiment reported:

“On April 28th began that series of attacks which aimed principally, if not wholly, at assisting the French. The 13th Battalion attacked from the trenches about 300 yards east of the Gavrelle-Roeux road. Their objective was the Whip cross-roads, south-east of Gavrelle. The attack began at 4.25 a.m. About four hours later No. 3 Company were sent up to the right of the 13th Rifle Brigade, who had secured their objective; but the company could not get into contact with any troops on the right, and a German machine gun was in action at the cross-roads. At 10.15 a.m., however, the position had been cleared up and two companies, Now. 3 and 4, held the road, including the cross-roads, for some 250 yards. The success was complete though the Fusiliers had been constantly harassed by fire from snipers and machine guns. The positions were retained intact until the battalion were relieved on the night of the 29th.”

Arthur, who was aged 29, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Arras, Pas de Calais, France, and on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford. He is not commemorated by the war memorial at St. John’s Church., Moulsham.

He was entitled to the Victory and British War medals.

The 1918 register of electors listed absent

He married Rayleigh woman Alice Mary Horner in 1910. The following year the census recorded the newly-weds living together at 183 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford. At the time Arthur was a wine and spirit merchant’s porter.

Arthur and Alice’s children included a daughter (1912-1912) and Doris May Emsden (born in 1913).

The 1914 register of electors listed Arthur at 41 New Writtle Street, Chelmsford (pictured).

Arthur lived at Chelmsford and enlisted at Warley and served as 330770 in the Cambridgeshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 28th April 1917 north-east of Arras in France while serving as Private 228128 in the 1st Battalion London Regiment attached to the 13th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, then part of the 111th Brigade in the 37th Division.

Arthur, and his widow, at 41 New Writtle Street, a terraced house  opposite what was later the site of Chelmsford City’s football ground.

In 1921 his widow married Stanley F. Coker and later lived at 11 Eynsford Road, Knockhall, Greenhithe, Kent. They had a son. Cyril Stanley Coker, born on 3rd September 1923, who died in 1988.

Arthur’s father lived at Darmsden, Needham Market, Suffolk and died in 1946, aged 85. Arthur’s mother died in Suffolk two years later, also aged 85.