Born: 1888, Ipswich.
Died on or near: 3rd July 1916; age 28; KiA.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 30th May 1915 – France.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 12515
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
VII. M. 2.
1891 25, Holy Wells Road, Ipswich.
Arthur was 2 years old and living with his parents & siblings
Henry Holmes, 38, a Foundry Labourer; born Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Ellen Holmes (nee Ramsey), 37; born Burstall, Suffolk.
Henry Bertram Ramsey, 12, born Burstall.
Ellen Frances Holmes, 6, born Ipswich.
Kate Gertrude Holmes, born Ipswich.
1901 25, Holy Wells Road, Ipswich.
Arthur was 12 years old and living with his widowed mother & siblings.
Ellen, 47, Mangling Washing at home.
Henry, 22, a Fisherman.
Ellen, 16, a Wholesale Grocer’s Packer.
Kate, 15, a Dressmaker.
James Edgar Holmes, 9, born Ipswich.
1911 134, Myrtle Road, Ipswich.
Arthur was 23, a Brewery Labourer and a boarder to Benjamin Beckett.
Arthur’s father Henry Holmes, died 1893, Ipswich. His mother Ellen Holmes, died 1904, Ipswich.
In 1912, Ipswich, Arthur Ernest Holmes married Florence Bashford Batram; born 1892, Oakley, Suffolk – daughter of George Batram, a gardener at Christchurch Park for the Ipswich Corporation and Amy Batram (nee Bashford), of Park Lodge, 1, Soane Street, Ipswich.
Florence and Ernest had one son:
Arthur Benjamin Holmes, December 1912, Ipswich.
Arthur was stepfather to Florence’s son – Bertie Charles Fair Batram, born May 1911, Ipswich.
Soldiers’ Effects to Florence B. Fair – widow.
In 1917, Ipswich, Florence Holmes married Harry Charles Fair, a seaman on sail barges. Florence Fair died in 1920.
Arthur is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion:
The 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment lost many Ipswich men during day 3 of the offensive. On July 1st , at 7.30am the Battle of the Somme started.
That day was a terrible and tragic day, out of the 1000’s of British and Commonwealth men who went ‘over the top’ to attack the German positions 19,340 were killed and 38,500 were wounded.
“On 2 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 7th Battalion was moved up to the British front line trenches. On 3 July, as part of the 35th Brigade, along with the 5th Royal Berkshires, the 7th Suffolk’s Battalion took part in a two Brigade frontal attached on Ovillers, zero hour was set for 03.15am. The first four waves reached the enemies’ third line of defence where after meeting very stiff resistance, the attack stalled. Due to the darkness the succeeding waves lost touch and were unable to assist. Casualties numbered 470 including all company commanders killed.” The remnants of the Battalion remained in the trenches until 8 July.
Extract from the history of the Suffolk regiment 1914-27. by Lt-C0l.C.C.R .Murphy.