Arnold Loosemore (7th June 1896 to 10th April 1924)

 

Arnold was one of seven sons born to a Sheffield gardener. He enlisted in the Army to fight in the First World War in January 1915 aged 19 years and 7 months (I was on the dole at that age.)

 

Within six months he was sent to fight in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign arriving in Suvla Bay (now Turkey) in August 1915. Much like the D-Day Landings the troops were meant to land by boat and storm up the beach but they underestimated the enemy and didnít get passed the beach. 110,000 men of various nations died in the Gallipoli campaign but thankfully the 20-year-old Arnold survived.

 

He returned home and was trained to use the Lewis machine gun. Still only 21 Arnold was fighting in Langemarck, Belgium. His platoon were attacking a well-held enemy position but were temporarily held up by curtains of heavy machine-gun fire. Arnold crawled through wire, dragging his Lewis machine-gun and snaked up close to the enemy. He set up the gun and killed about 20 enemy soldiers. Suddenly his gun was destroyed (probably shot) and didnít work and three enemy soldiers were rushing at him. He drew his revolver and shot them dead. This near-suicidal episode wasnít over and he went on to shoot several snipers before returning to his troop with a wounded comrade Ė all the time under heavy fire.

 

Two years later bravery shimmered again. He was fighting at Zillebeke, Belgium when his officer was wounded while on patrol and Arnold took leadership of the troop while under a veil of hostile bombs. He rallied the men and led them back to safety (included the wounded) before capturing the enemy post later on.

 

By 1918 he had been promoted to corporal and then sergeant. Aged 22 he was fighting in Villiers-en-Cauchies in France and was so badly wounded by a machine gun his left leg had to be amputated.

 

Despite acts of breath-taking bravery that should have allowed him a long happy life war wounds rendered him unable to work and a sick man. He died aged just 27 tuberculosis leaving a wife and small son. His wife Amy was refused a War Widows pension from the Government because he died after the war and she knew he was ill when she married him.

 

Amy was so poor when her husband died that she was forced to have him buried in this grave with three other people. She joined him in the grave later on.