- 1911 Occupation
- Domicile Vine Cottage, Cotgrave
- Date of Birth 1897 c
- Date of Death 17 Sept 1916
- Domicile Thomas and Mary Jane (nee Wallhead), Vine Cottage, Cotgrave
- Regiment 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps
- Division 14th Light Division
- Brigade 41st Brigade
- Enlistment Date 7 November 1914
- Service Number R6538
- Rank Rifleman
- Date of Death 17 September 1916
- Age at Death 19
- Medals 14/15 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal
- Commemorated Etaples Military Cemetery, 10.E.10A, France
The name Arthur Wallhead Simpson appears on the Cotgrave War Memorial and on the Memorial Board in All Saints Church Cotgrave. Arthur, was the son of Thomas and Mary Jane Simpson of Vine Cottage Cotgrave. Prior to his death he had 6 siblings, Daisy, Ethel, Doris, Violet, Edna and Sydney. On 7 November 1914 Arthur enlisted into the 7th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps in Nottingham. He enlisted in the same Regiment and on the same day as Ernest Reeve, who is remembered on the Cotgrave War Memorial having been killed during The War. Their numbers are sequential.
Arthur lived in The Rose and Crown public house next door to Vine Cottage where Ernest lived. Another of Arthur’s friends Frank Wooley also enlisted into the Kings Royal Rifle Corps one week later. Frank survived until 1918 when he was killed at the Battle of the Selle.
After some months in UK Arthur deployed with his battalion to France on 3 August 1915. He was a lively soldier and is believed to have been the batman/runner for the Officer Commanding D Company. His liveliness got him into trouble on more than one occasion resulting in fines and even a short period of detention.
Arthur was wounded on 15 September 1916 at the battle for Delville Wood. Following the carnage of the Somme and failing to break through German lines, the British changed their goals to just taking prominent features for future attacks. Delville Wood is famous for the first battle fought by the South African Brigade which suffered 80% casualties holding the Wood from repeated German counter attacks. Following the battle only one tree remained standing!
Arthur was evacuated from the battle area but unfortunately died of his wounds on 17 September while in hospital. He is buried at Etaples, 20 miles south of Bologne, the largest cemetery in France which served the area of reinforcement camps (100,000 soldiers) and 17 hospitals handling 22,000 casualties each day.
Arthur’s niece, who was also born in Vine Cottage and now (2014) lives in Cotgrave, remembers her mother talking about her uncle. She remembers the story of Arthur’s uniform being returned to her grandmother and she still has the 1914 Christmas box with its message from The Princess Mary and the citation for the Arthur’s 14/15 Star which is pictured below. She has the service sheet for the dedication of the Cotgrave War Memorial on 27th June 1920.