DescriptionArthur was born in 1882 to Abraham and Sarah Turner of Binfield, Berkshire. He was the fourth child and had ten siblings: six brothers and four sisters. His younger brother Charles was also to be lost in the war. By the age of 27, Arthur had become a builder’s labourer and was single. His parents lived at Queens Terrace, off Rose Street in 1911.
Arthur joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment, possibly prior to the war as he was enlisted into the 1st Battalion (which was made up of regulars). He was soon on his way to the French / Belgium border. Sadly, Arthur was one of the first to be killed in the war, having lost his life on the 26th August 1914.
The first British soldier killed in the war was only seven days earlier (Private John Parr, August 21st). The Royal Berkshire Regiment had also suffered their own casualty on the 21st, Private James Hollingsworth, a bandsman who had been shot by one of his own men.
The action in question was the ‘Retreat from Mons’. It was the start of the war and the end of lancers and cavalry charges. The khaki clad British Expeditionary Force, the shock of the reality of war, of constant marching interrupted only by enemy fire was to be the war the soldier now experienced. Regiments mixed up with other regiments, soldiers mixed up on roads swelled by civilians escaping from the bullets and bombs. Up rose the idea from the British that the French had abandoned them, not knowing that for the loss of 1,600 British soldiers, the French had already lost 250,000 of their own.
“Arthur Turner,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed July 16, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0387.