Arnold, Frederick Marshall

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Geoffrey Alexander Mitchell.

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Rhyl War Memorial.

Name / Enw: Arnold, Frederick Marshall

Regiment/Catrawd: 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Lieutenant.

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais.

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Bay 6.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Date of Death: 27th March 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died of wounds on Wednesday 27 March 1918 during the Battle of the Somme, aged 21 years

Frederick Marshall Arnold was born in Rhyl, Flintshire, North Wales during 1897.

The 1911 Census shows that the family lived at Chester House, Queen Street, Rhyl, Flintshire.  The head of the family was Robert Balding Arnold aged 55, a Draper.  His wife Mary Annie Arnold aged 52, who assisted in the family business and their five children – Lydia Annie Arnold aged 30, a Housekeeper, Emily Amelia Arnold aged 29, a Draper’s Assistant, Arthur Alexander Arnold aged 24, also a Draper’s Assistant, Elsie Gwen Arnold aged 16, a Draper’s Cashier and Frederick Marshall Arnold aged 14, a Student.  Also living with the family and employed by Mr & Mrs Arnold were Sarah Ann Jones aged 22, a Cook and Kate Jones aged 23, a Housemaid.

On leaving school Frederick was accepted as a Student at the University of London and whilst there joined the University Officers Training Corps.  The London Gazette Supplement dated 6 January 1916 reports – ‘ Cadet Frederick Marshall Arnold from the University of London Contingent, Senior Division Officers Training Corps is to be a Second Lieutenant from 7 January 1916′.

Lieutenant Frederick Marshall Arnold.

Frederick was subsequently gazetted a Lieutenant with 1st/5th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, attached to 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service) Battalion.

At dawn on Thursday 21 March 1918 the Germans unleashed ‘Operation Michael’, an offensive with 3 German armies in the Arras-St. Quentin-La Fere Sector of the Somme.  The British troops between Arras and St. Quentin, which includes Hebuterne were smothered by storms of gas and artillery shells.  Almost immediately the British lose the gains from 1916-1918.  It was here some days later that Lt. Arnold was severely wounded.  

Rhyl Journal dated 13 April 1918 – Casualty List.

Lt. Frederick Marshall Arnold, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, youngest son of Mr & Mrs R B Arnold, Chester House, is reported to have been badly wounded on 25 March. Further news concerning him is anxiously awaited by his parents.  He is one of three soldier brothers, the other two being in Palestine.  He has been in France for six months.

Rhyl Journal dated 11 May 1918 – Casualty List.

Official notice has been received this week by Mr and Mrs R B Arnold that their youngest son, Lt Fred M Arnold, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed in action during the latter part of March.  He will be remembered by all who knew him as a fine young man of great promise.  Before joining the colours he was engaged in scholastic work and he had hopes of studying for the Ministry after the war, being deeply interested in religious work.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial and in his home town of Rhyl.  Possibly the last word should go to his father who, when replying to a War Office enquiry as to the address for sending the Memorial Plaque, wrote, ‘Dear Sir, Shall be pleased to receive the plaque and scroll as a memorial of my son’s patriotism and sacrifice’.

Arras Memorial, France.

The National Probate Calendar for 1918, which was administered in St. Asaph, North Wales states that Lieutenant Frederick Marshall Arnold on his death had left the sum of £353.7s.6d to his father, Robert Balding Arnold.

On 3 January 1919, a payment of £99.13s.8d was made by the War Office to Robert Balding Arnold, being monies owed to his son Frederick. The payment was credited to the account of Mr Arnold at the London Joint City and Midland Bank.

There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour Card for Frederick Marshall Arnold at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, Flintshire, dated 2 September 1919 and signed R B Arnold.

He is also remembered on a Remembrance Plaque at The Royal Alexandra Hospital, Marine Drive, Rhyl, Flintshire and the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, North Wales.

F Arnold 1

North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, North Wales. (my thanks to my brother-in-law, Keith Greenly Jones for this photograph).