Arthur Read was born in Berkshire around 1886 and was a career soldier who had left the army but re-enlisted into the Worcestershire Regiment at the start of the First World War. He is remembered on the Little Casterton war memorial inside All Saints' Church, but his links to the village are not fully known. He was certainly part of the community there and his death was reported in The Rutland Churchman magazine. It said: "We greatly regret to hear the death of Mr A E Read, who rejoined his old regiment on the outbreak of war. The official statement said - No. 8865 Private A Read, 2nd Battalion, Worcester regiment was killed in action at Vermeuil, on the River Aisne, on September 16th. His body was interred in the Bois de Boules, a wood on the western slopes of the Beaulne Spur. The spot is marked by a wooden cross. Mr Read had many friends in this village, and the deepest sympathy will be felt for all who mourn for him." The article was republished in the Grantham Journal on 16 January 1915 with the headline Little Casterton - Killed in Battle. Arthur was later reburied at Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension, grave 5.J.A. According to the 1891 census he was living with his grandfather James Smith in Watlington, Oxfordshire, when he was aged five years old but we cannot work out how he came to be in Rutland. Details of where he had originally been buried were sent to his Aunt Millie and her husband Henry Markham who were living in Howard Street in Oxford (see photograph below).
Our thanks to Camilla Brandal for tracing the article from the Grantham Journal which enabled us to find out more details about Arthur Read.
Do you know something about Arthur E that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.