TANSEY, Arthur

Private Arthur Tansey
14101 Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
43160 South Staffordshire Regiment
O37992 Army Ordnance Corps

Tansey ArthursmlArthur was born on 16th February 1896 in Jacksdale, Notts son of Charles Tansey a coal miner contractor born Stoney Stanton, Leics and his wife Maud Emma (nee Hudson) born Derby. Arthur was one of a large family having brothers and sisters Willie, Charles Edwin, Bertha Dinah, Lewin Richard, Mary Ann, John William, Elizabeth, David, Katherine and Francis.  Arthur’s parents moved from Brinsley to Jacksdale around 1895 and in 1901 were living at Sedgwick Street.

Arthur enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters at the outbreak of war on 1st September 1914 at Nottingham. He was aged 19 years and 270 days with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. He was of good stature being almost 5’10” tall with a 39″ chest, larger than average for the time. He gave his religion as Church of England and next of kin as his mother Maud, as his father Charles had died in 1906. His civilian occupation was miner loader and it was noted he had a scar on his chin and an old injury to his left thumb.

Arthur signed up for 3 years with the colours unless the war should last longer. The war certainly did last longer and Arthur would see active serve to the very end. On 27th December 1914 he embarked with the Sherwood Foresters as part of the British Expeditionary Force to France, serving until 11th March 1915 when he sustained a gunshot wound to his scapula at Neuve Chapelle. He was admitted to the 3rd Stationary Hospital 4 days later and sent back home to England on 29th March 1915. He remained in the UK receiving treatment and convalescing until November 1915.  Around this time in early Spring 1915 Arthur’s brother John William, resident of Jacksdale,  died aged only 27 leaving a widow Elizabeth. This must have been a very distressing time for Arthur’s mother to have lost one son and to have another wounded.

Arthur soon found himself back at the front when, in November 1915, he was dispatched with the Sherwoods to Alexandria as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. On on 7th July 1916  his brother David was killed in action at Contalmaison, Somme, France. Arthur served with the Sherwoods right up until 20th July 1916 when he was transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment to join the B.E.F.  in France.  He served with the South Staff’s until October 1916 when his old war wound started playing up and he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an inflammation of the spinal marrow, and sent back to England for an operation to clean the wound. In April 1917 he embarked for the fourth time as part of an expeditionary force, with the South Staffs to France, serving on active service for 4 months until he developed an abscess in his old shell wound and was sent home to Weston Favell Hospital spending a total of 80 days in hospital. After treatment he remained in the UK and, on 21st December 1917, was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps and on 18th September 1918, aged 24, Arthur was transferred to the Class ‘P’ Reserve after going before a Medical Board who found that he had good shoulder and arm movement but could no longer lift any weight. He was found to be ‘temporarily of more value to the country in civilian life rather than in the Army‘.  He awarded a gratuity of £35 and was to return to coal mining.

Arthur was the recipient of the 1914-15 Star, the Victory and British War Medals. He was also awarded Silver War Badge no B104306.

Arthur was obviously highly regarded in the area as a serviceman who had seen a great deal of active service and in July 1921 it was Arthur who presented an attaché case, on behalf of the ex-servicemen of the district,  to Mrs B McClaren during the Jacksdale Memorial unveiling ceremony. In 1923 he married Lydia Warren at Selston, St. Helen’s and they later had sons James and Arthur.  In 1926, as the following newspaper article reports, Arthur was one of the founding members of the Jacksdale British Legion.

‘British Legion At Jacksdale. Branch Formed. A meeting of ex-service men was held at the Portland Arms Hotel club room last Friday evening with the object in view of forming a branch of the Legion. Mr. F. Daley presided. The chief speaker was Capt. Harry Slater (organising Secretary, East Midland area), a native of Riddings. In his opening remarks the Chairman emphasised the need of an ex-service men organisation in the district and expressed the hope that all present would do their best to get the branch going. In the course of his very interesting and breezy address, Capt. Slater explained who the Legion is, what it intended to do, and what it is already doing for the relief of unemployed, disabled, and tubercular ex-service men and their dependents. Above all, he said, the Legion was definitely pledged to peace, was non- political, and absolutely democratic. The following officials were elected to form the branch: – Chairman, Mr. F. Daley: Treasurer, Mr. J. Sheriston: Secretary, Mr. A. Tansey: Committee: Messrs. J. Peach, F. Hill, H, Sheriston, J. R. Wilbraham, J. Newsum, H. Thurman, L. Gothard, and F. Millington. It was hoped all ex-service men will rally round and make the branch a success. 1926 January 29th.’

Photo: Members of the British Legion form up at Ironville Church en route for Jacksdale Circa 1930

Tansey British Legion sml

Arthur continued as Secretary of the Legion until 1934 and later as a committee member. He was also an active member of the Jacksdale Hospital Committee, dedicated to raising funds for local hospitals as the National Health Service was not formed then.  He was also a member of Jacksdale Cricket Club.

Arthur died in 1970, aged 74, and is buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s with his wife Lydia.

Photographs Courtesy Mr A.P. Tansey.