Private Arthur Oswald Hemming died of heart failure on 7th December 1918 whilst serving with the Wiltshire Regiment. He died at home in New Street, Castle Bromwich and is buried at SS Mary & Margaret’s Church, Castle Bromwich.
Arthur Oswald Hemming was born in Birmingham in 1893, and was the fifth of the six children of parents James Samuel (a cabinet maker) and Jane (née Coleman) who had married at St Mark’s Church, Birmingham in 1887.
By 1911, 18-year-old Arthur was living at the family home in Sparkhill and working as a brass dresser. He joined the Army in September 1914, and first entered a Theatre of War on 21st September 1915. He had married Annie Smith at Castle Bromwich on 11th July 1915, at which time he was living at Sutton Veny, Warminster. This was the site of a number of camps for troops in training before embarking for frontline service. His bride’s address was Arden Cottages, New Street, Castle Bromich.
Arthur served for three years in Salonika, during which time he was wounded. He was then posted to France where he was captured by the enemy on 4th October 1918. He managed to escape on 10th November 1918, the day before the Armistice. He returned home to Castle Bromwich on 26th November and was taken ill two days later. A report of his death in the Birmingham Daily Mail 11th December 1918 suggests his illness was as a result of privations experienced whilst a prisoner.
His name is included on the Castle Bromwich war memorial, and on the Roll of Honour in St Mary & St Margaret’s Church.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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