Little is known of Arthur Willson
and it is interesting to discover his inclusion on the church memorial in Stoneleigh. He was actually born in 1892 in Hackney, London, to Harry - a chairmaker - and Charlotte Willson. By 1901 he was living with the family of his uncle and aunt Richard and Harriet Jenner in Lingfield, Surrey, and ten years later he was a domestic servant there. How did he find himself in Stoneleigh? He probably came to work for the Leighs. He enlisted in Coventry in the 9th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment; the battalion was sent to Gallipoli on July 14th 1915 after the disastrous Allied landings there in April. They were transferred to Anzac Cove on August 3rd, and moved forward for attack on August 8th, to gain a series of mountain ridges from the Turks, known as Sari Bair. The Royal Warwickshires' War Diary records that "the trenches were enfiladed by machine gun fire and our men were mown down."
Private Arthur Willson was killed in this action on this day and having no known grave is named on the Helles Memorial to the Missing, Panel 35-37. Although he had several siblings, his "official" next-of-kin was his cousin Bertram Jenner of Lingfield in Surrey.
Counter by Rob Orland