HENRY RAYMOND SADDLER ARROWSMITH

 

Born: Christmas Eve, 1874, Balham, Surrey.

Died: 6th January 1900; age 25; KiA at Suffolk Hill, Rensburg, near Colesberg, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Residence: 115, High Street, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent.

 

Henry entered the Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion in September 1894.

 

Service:

In April 1897 with the 1st Battalion to Malta until January 1899.

Returned to Dover, England until ordered to the front November 1899.

Whilst in South Africa Henry had had much Outpost Duty.

 

Rank: Lance Sergeant; Service Number: 3952.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.

 

Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony.

 

CENSUS

 

1881   Clifton Terrace, Nightingale Lane, Balham, Surrey.

 

Henry was 6 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

George William Thomas Arrowsmith, 37, a Chemist & Dentist – own account, born Finchley,Middlesex.

Anne Julia Arrowsmith (nee Micklem), 32, born Hurley, Berkshire.

George Micklem Arrowsmith, 9, born Reading, Berkshire.

Alice Winifred Arrowsmith, 7, born Balham.

William Bernard Arrowsmith, 3, born Balham.

1 chemist apprentice.

1 general domestic servant.

 

1891   High Street, Seasalter, Kent.

 

Henry was 16 years old, a Mineral Water Assistant. He was living with his parents & siblings.

George, 46, a Dental Surgeon & Chemist – own account.

Annie, 41.

Alice, 17.

William, 13.

 

Henry was a member of the St. Alphege church choir, Seasalter.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to George William Thomas Arrowsmith – father.

 

Henry is also commemorated on a private brass memorial at St. Alphege Church, Seasalter, Kent.

 

Reading Mercury – 20th January 1900 – LITTLEWICK – DEATH OF LANCE-SERGT. ARROWSMITH. – We are sorry to announce the death of Mr. Henry Raymond Saddler Arrowsmith, Lance-Sergt. in the 1st Suffolk Regiment, who was killed in the sad mishap which occurred to that Regiment at Renburg on the 6th inst. The deceased was the second son of Mr. George W.T. Arrowsmith, of Whitstable, and was a nephew of Mr. Henry Arrowsmith, of Littlewick Lodge. Lance-Sergt. Arrowsmith was a keen soldier, and was making rapid progress in his profession. He entered the 1st Suffolks in September, 1894, and in April, 1897, he went with his regiment to Malta, remaining there till January in last year, when the Suffolks returned to England, being stationed thenceforward at Dover until they were ordered to the front in November last. Since his arrival in South Africa, Lance-Sergt. Arrowsmith had had much outpost duty. He was much liked by all who knew him, and had numerous friends in this district. In one of the latest letters received from him he spoke of meeting several men from Maidenhead and Wokingham, the Berkshire Regiment being, like the Suffolks, attached to General French’s column. Deceased was 25 years of age.

 

Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times – 16th February 1901 – HONOURING THE BRAVE – UNVEILING A MEMORIAL TABLET AT SEASALTER CHURCHJust over a year ago the sad intelligence was received in Whitstable that Sergt. Henry Raymond Arrowsmith, of the 1st Suffolk Regiment, son of Mr. George W.T. Arrowsmith, our respected townsman, had lost his life at Rensburg. The news cast a gloom over the town and neighbourhood, as the deceased was deservedly popular amongst a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and his rapid promotion led everyone to hope that before longhe would received a commission. Providence, however, willed otherwise, and, as stated above on the 6th January, 1900, he died in the service of his Queen and country. For some years he was a member of the St. Alphege church choir, and, therefore, it was thought by some that it would be a fitting tribute to pay to him if a brass tablet were erected to his memory. The matter was taken in hand by Mr. Sidney Brown, who worked indefatigably to obtain the necessary amount of money required for such a purpose. The subscription was limited to a shilling, but in spite of this the sum was quickly got together, and the order for the memorial tablet given.

On Sunday afternoon a short memorial service was held at St. Alphege church when the tablet was unveiled. There was a large congregation present, including the Coastguards, under the command of Lieutenant Gubbins, R.N., the Divisional Officer. Before the commencement of the service the Vicar (Rev. William Blissard) explained the object of it. The tablet, he said, which had been erected in affectionate memory of one who laid down his life in the service of his country, would be handed down to future generations as a mark of their affection and esteem for him who had so nobly died. He then called upon Mr. Sidney Brown to unveil the tablet.

Before doing so Mr. Brown said: “There is a saying – “The least expected often happens,” which os a true one. I take it that no one present ever expected to hear me say a few words in a church. On Thursday, when the Vicar showed me the order of this afternoon’s memorial service, which he had written, and finished by saying he would like me to unveil this tablet, he caused me no little surprise. It is the greatest compliment that has ever been paid me, and I trust the Vicar will accept my heartfelt appreciation of his kind thought.

In that grave at Rensburg lies our gallant young friend, Sergeant Arrowsmith, who herocally died in loyalty to his Sovereign, and for the dignity and glory of our Kingdom and Empire. I now unveil this memorial tablet to perpetuate his memory in the noble death he died, and also as a tribute of the esteem and affection in which he is held by us all. The tablet, which is in brass, bears the following inscription:- “To the honoured memory of Henry Raymond Arrowsmith, Lance Sergeant in the 1st Suffolk Regiment, of this parish, and formerly of this choir. Born on Christmas-eve, 1874, fell at Rensburg, South Africa, on January 6th, 1900. This tablet is erected by a few friends. In Peace.”

A short impressive service then followed. Part of the Burial Office was used. The choir rendered the anthem “I heard a voice,” and the hymns “Brief life is here our portion,” “Pleace, perfect peace,” and “For all the Saints who from their labours rest” were sung. The prayers were intoned by the Rev. Henry Rothwell Cuffe who also read the lesson. The Vicar, Rev. William Blissard, preached an appropiate sermon from the text “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit” (Revelations xiv, 13).

 

Reading Mercury – 2nd March 1901 – LITTLEWICK – THE LATE SERGEANT ARROWSMITH. It will be remembered that among those who fell in the disaster at Rensburg on the 6th January, 1900, when the Suffolks suffered so greatly, was Sergt. Henry Raymond Arrowsmith, son of Mr. George W.T. Arrowsmith, of Whitstable, Kent, and nephew of Mr. Henry Arrowsmith, of Littlewick Lodge. Sergt. Arrowsmith was formerly a member of the choir of St. Alphege’s Church at Seasalter, Whitstable, and a pleasing tribute has been paid to his memory by a number of friends, who subscribed to errect a memorial tablet in St. Alphege’s Church. This tablet was unveiled by Mr. Sidney Brown on Sunday afternoon, 10th February, and an impressive memorial service was conducted by the Vicar (Rev. William Blissard), and the Rev. Henry Rothwell Cuffe. The Vicar preached an appropiate sermon on Rev. xiv, 13, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” A brief and feeling address was also given by Mr. Sidney Brown. The tablet, which is in brass, bears the following inscription:- “To the honoured memory of Henry Raymond Arrowsmith, Lance Sergeant in the 1st Suffolk Regiment, of this parish, and formerly of this choir. Born on Christmas-eve, 1874, fell at Rensburg, South Africa, on January 6th, 1900. This tablet is erected by a few friends. In Peace.”

 

In February 1901, Henry’s father George Arrowsmith wrote a letter to the newspapers, to express his thanks for all the kindness shown to him and his family.

To The Editor, SIR, – Will you please permit me to occupy a small space in your paper in order to express my appreciation of the kindness of all those who have contributed towards the memorial tablet erected in Seasalter church to the memory of my dear son. Words are very inadequate to express the gratitude I feel for all the kind sympathy shown us from all quarters.

I am, Sir,

Yours truly,

G.W.T. Arrowsmith

Clairville,

Whitstable.

 

Henry’s father, George William Thomas Arrowsmith, retired from his chemist business at 115, High Street, in 1900, when he disposed of it to Mr. Frederick Thomas Cooper, but for sometime afterwards George continued to practice as a dental surgeon at his residence in 38, Oxford Street, Whitstable. George was connected to the local Congregational Church for 26 years, holding the office of deacon for a large part of the time. He was a local hon. treasurer of the British and Foreign Bible Society. George was a trustee of the Whitstable Non-Ecclesiastical Charities for 16 years and for 9 years was a manager of the Endowed Schools, being appointed to the position by the Kent Education Committee. For several years George was president of the Whitstable District Nursing Association, of which he was a keen and active supporter. George was described as a very reserved and unassuming man. He was very popular and held in the highest respect by everyone who knew him. A gentleman in every sense of the word. Henry’s mother, Anne Julia Arrowsmith died in 1905, his father George died in May 1913.

Henry was a nephew of Mr. Henry Arrowsmith, of Littlewick Lodge, Littlewick Green, Berkshire – a Gentleman, a propiertor of houses, land and a fundholder.

Ann Micklem (nee Butler).

Henry’s maternal grandfather John Henry Micklem, of Burchett’s Green, Hurley, Berkshire, was a Gentleman, a farmer and a propiertor of houses and land.

Photographs of John Henry Micklem & Ann Micklem (nee Butler) courtesy of Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk Hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.

The Boer War.

Suffolk Regiment 

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