WHEATLEY, Arthur Edwin

Driver Arthur Edwin Wheatley
945 and 612244 19th Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery

Arthur Edwin Wheatley was born in 1898 at Leicester, son of Arthur Wheatley a foundry man at the Ironworks, born Northampton and his wife Dorothy (nee Emmett) born Golden Valley, Derbyshire.  Arthur’s parents, Arthur and Dorothy married in Leicester but their first child Margaret Ida was born at Westwood, Notts.  In 1901 the family was living in Leicester and Arthur’s father was employed as a shoe ‘laster’ which entailed shaping leather boots or shoes on a ‘last’. Arthur’s other brothers and sisters, Beatrice, Ernest Victor, Elizabeth May and Arthur were all born in Leicester. In 1910 tragedy struck the family  when Arthur’s mother Dorothy died when Arthur was only aged about 12. Her death was registered in the Leicester district and just a year his widowed father Arthur and children were living at Old Westwood (Palmerston Street) having completely changed his occupation to labourer at the ironworks.  Eldest sister Margaret Ada was keeping house and elder brother Ernest Victor was working at the pit, aged 14 years. In 1915, his father Arthur took a second wife, Edith (nee Hicking), some years his junior and several more children followed.

Arthur Edwin joined the Army as a volunteer on 16th October 1915 and served until 20th March 1919.  He attested at Nottingham for a period of 4 years ‘should His Majesty King George V so long require his services‘. He served at home in the UK until January 1916 when he embarked from Devonport, for Alexandria, Egypt to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  He served at Matruh, Mustapha and later in Palestine until 30th January 1919 when sailed home aboard the SS Indarra. The Absent Voter Rolls lists him as absent from his home address at Palmerston Street in 1918/1919.

Wheatley Indarra sml

Arthur was finally released from the Army in March 1920. He was a recipient of the British War and Victory Medals. In April 1920 Nottingham HQ advised Arthur to write to Officer i/c RHA Records, Woolwich to request that a cash gratuity be paid to him. Arthur duly wrote from his address at Old Westwood, just a few days later. ‘Dear Sir, Having wrote to Head Quarters at Nottingham I am informed that I am to apply to you for my bounty as a territorial. I served through the war as a territorial and am likewise informed that I am entitled to a bounty. Unit an number follows, Royal Horse Artillery. Hoping that this meets with your approval. I am yours, Private Arthur Wheatley.’

Arthur returned to his old job at the pit, later becoming a pit deputy after a mining accident which caused the loss of some of his fingers.

In 1924 Arthur married Frances A. Reed in the Basford District and they had 2 children Nora and Roy. Wife Frances died in 1936 and in 1941 Arthur married Mary Annie North at Westwood, St. Mary’s, groom’s occupation given as miner and place of residence as 7, Montague Street, Bulwell, Notts. Arthur and Mary had a daughter named Yvonne. Mary died in 1978 and Arthur a few years later in 1981.