Born: 1887, Ipswich.

Died: 12th November 1918; age: 31; of Tuberculosis of the Lungs – 12 months, at 19, Stanley Avenue, Ipswich. Served 1 year & 87 days.

Informant: brother-in-law – Harry Collings, of 70, Devonshire Road, Ipswich.

Residence: 19, Stanley Avenue, Ipswich.

Occupation: a Butcher.


Enlistment Details: Location: Ipswich; date: 5th June 1916; Age: 29 years & 6 months. Height: 5ft & 8 1/2ins.


Discharged: 30th August 1917 – Physically Unfit. Address: 19, Stanley Avenue, Ipswich.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 349944.

Regiment: Labour Corps.

Formerly a Private, 10467, for the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), 3rd Battalion.




1891   120, Fore Street, Ipswich.


Arthur was 4 years old and living with his parents & sisters.

Arthur George Downes, 29, a Butcher – own account, born Halesworth.

Alice Downes (nee Frost), 28, born Ipswich.

Kate Downes, 5, born Ipswich.

Alice Mabel Downes, 2, born Ipswich.

1 domestic servant.

1 butcher’s apprentice.


1901   120, Fore Street, Ipswich.


Arthur was 14 years old and living with his widowed mother & sisters.

Alice Downes, 36, a Butchers Shopkeeper – own account.

Mabel, 12.

Ethel May Downes, 10, born Ipswich.

1 domestic servant.


1911   19, Stanley Avenue, Ipswich.


Arthur was 24 years old, a Journeyman Butcher. He was married and Head of the Household.

Annie, 31.


Arthur’s father was Arthur George Downes died 1896, Ipswich.


On the 1st March 1909, Ipswich, Arthur married Annie Collings, born January 1880, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Annie Gower – widow.



Formed in January 1917, 389,900 men 10% of the total size of the British Army. Many of the men had already served in other units and were taken on following being wounded then being made fit for duty “A1” condition. The companies were employed in general labouring, fetching and carrying in work within range of the enemy guns. Sometimes used as emergency infantry during major offensives by the enemy.

Labour Corps units were sometimes classed as second class soldiers but were an important part of the British Army.

Labour Corps, Buffs:


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