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Arthur Kidman

Arthur Kidman

     

Arthur and his twin brother Ernest Walter (known as Walter) were born in Eltisley on 27 August 1888 and baptised on 16 December 1888. Their parents were George and Mary Kidman; the family lived at Papley Grove in Eltisley. They were part of a family of 9 children.

Arthur signed up three days after war was declared on 7 August 1914, and enlisted in the 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment at the end of September 1914. He joined up with his friend Ben Sewell.

On 30 August they embarked for France. They landed in Boulogne and billeted at Ostrohove Camp. They then marched 50 miles towards Bethune to take part in the battle of Loos. They were involved on the second day of the battle, Sunday 25 September 1915, at the Quarries near Loos but fortunately received very few casualties. Loos was the first time the British used Chlorine gas in the form of a cloud during the war, on the 23and 24 September 1915. The battle of Loos ended in a stalemate with neither side making gains or losses. The battle cost 59,247 British lives in total.

During September, October and November the battalion was billeted or engaged in fighting in the trenches at Ypres.

On 15 December the men moved to the Forward Cottage trench near Wieltje, just north of Ypres; the weather was cold and frosty, the trenches were very wet and were being heavily shelled. On Sunday 19 December 1915 at 05.30 in the morning, the Germans attacked with gas clouds of Phosgene gas mixed with Chloride gas; this came across the field from the German lines and engulfed the trench where Arthur was. Arthur was fighting with his friend from Eltisley Ben Sewell, who did everything he could to help Arthur, who had lost his respirator, but to no avail. Arthur died of gas poisoning on this day; he was 27 years old.

Arthur is one of the 54,000 men who have no known grave and who are listed on the Menin Gate at Ypres on panel 31and 33, which commemorates men who fell in the Ypres Salient between the beginning of the War and 15 August 1917. In Ypres, to this day, at 8 o’clock every evening, the Menin Gate is closed to traffic, crowds gather and buglers sound the Last Post, in memory of the Fallen.

 

Arthur Kidman
Private 16782, 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

27 August 1888 – 19 December 1915
(aged 27)

   
   
  Arthur is one of the 54,000 men who have no known grave and who are listed on the Menin Gate at Ypres on panel 31and 33, which commemorates men who fell in the Ypres Salient between the beginning of the War and 15 August 1917.
   
   
 

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