11214 SGT. A. BLEASDALE. CHESH.R.
Arthur Bleasdale was born in 1882, the family living at Lostock View, Lostock Hall. He joined the regular army on 30 Jan 1900, aged 18yrs 4mths, at which time he was living at 8 Lostock Square and was working as a spinner. He joined 3 Loyal North Lancs, original number 9006. 5ft 3¾ in tall, 106lbs.
He served 4 years, and was promoted to LCpl in March 1902. He reverted to Pvt in Sep 1902, and transferred to Army Reserve in March 1904. He was discharged on termination of his final period of engagement on 9 April 1912.
His military service saw him mainly in the Mediterranean: Sep 1900-Feb 1901: Malta; Feb 1901-May 1902, Crete; May 1902-Mar 1904: Gibraltar.
On his return, he moved to Oldham, where he married Emily Brady (from Oldham) in 1906. Both were working in a cotton mill, Arthur as assistant overlooker, Emily as reeler. The following year, they had a daughter, Hilda.
On the outbreak of War, he signed up again, this time with the Cheshire Regiment and was promoted to Sergeant. The regiment landed in France on 18 Dec 1914. They arrived at the Ypres Salient in April 1915.
In late April, 2Cheshires were in the trenches at Zonnebeke (on the map, Zonnebeke is on the front line, between Langemark and Passchendaele, near the base of the red arrow. The blue line shows the maximum extent of the German advance by the end of May). They had suffered a number of casualties and in early May they withdrew from a number of trenches to make the salient less pronounced. On 8 May at Verlorenhoek the enemy launched an artillery and gas bombardment, 17 other ranks killed, 182 missing, 200 wounded. They were forced to withdraw from the front line and regroup in the support trenches. On the 9th they were reinforced by a new draft from England. They returned to the trenches on the morning of 24 May and are 'subjected to a withering shell fire while advancing over open ground'. On 24-25 May they had 5 officers killed, 4 wounded and 1 missing; 8 other ranks killed, 246 wounded and 25 missing. Arthur was killed in action on May 25.
Service No: 11214
Date of Death: 25/05/1915
Regiment/Service: Cheshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference: I. F. 1.
Cemetery: LA BRIQUE MILITARY CEMETERY NO.2
His brother John Cottam Bleasdale also served, joining the King’s Liverpool Regiment and then transferring to Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was discharged due to sickness in July 1916.