Monday, March 07, 2016
486742 Sapper Arthur Bee, Royal Engineers
Arthur Bee was a patient at Beechland House in Autumn 1917. His entry in Nurse Oliver’s album (which has been heavily over-written in blue biro at a later date) reads:
Riches have wings
Grandeur is a dream
But when I landed at Beechlands
I found it was real
486742 Sapper A Bee
470th Field Coy R.E.
Wounded at Ypres Sept 26th 1917
also went out to Ireland for the Irish rebellion April 25th 1916
There is another entry on this page from 11796 Private John E Griffiths of the West Riding Regiment.
Arthur Bee’s entry in the Silver War Badge Roll notes that he was discharged in March 1919 aged 22. I can find no birth entry in the England and Wales Civil Registration Index for 1897 but there are two men listed in 1896 whose births were registered at Nottingham and Stoke on Trent.
Arthur enlisted on 19th October 1915. The 470th Field Company of The Royal Engineers was formed in February 1915 and was named the 3/1st (North Midland) Field Coy until Feb 1917. It formed part of the 59th (2nd North Midland) Division. The North Midland connection fits particularly well with the Arthur Bee born in Nottingham.
As Arthur says in his entry, the division moved to Ireland in April 1916 and was the First Territorial Force Division to serve there. It returned to England in January 1917 and then moved to France the following month.
Arthur was one of thirty-eight 59th Division Royal Engineers wounded at Passchendale on 26th September 1917. On the day, the division sustained over a thousand killed, wounded and missing casualties.
As previously mentioned, Arthur was discharged in March 1919 as being no longer physically fit for war service (wounds). His entry on the British War and Victory Medal roll notes two numbers for him: 876 and 486742, the former being his original TF number.