Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Arthur Harry Snelling

I've just discovered that Arthur Snelling has a badly water-damaged service record which survives in WO 363. This puzzles me because I'd checked all the Chailey men by going through records in WO 363 and WO 364. Nevertheless, Arthur obviously slipped through the net. How many more are there I wonder? In any event, I now see that he joined the ASC in 1911 and sailed for France almost immediately war was declared, remaining overseas until he was died of wounds in August 1918.

This is what I wrote about him:

Arthur Harry Snelling was born around 1893 in Reigate, Surrey. He appears on the 1901 census as an eight year old boy living with his parents, brothers and sister at South Street, Chailey. In 1901 the family comprised: Arthur E Snelling (head of the family, a butcher, born in Battersea, aged 32), Minnie Snelling, (Arthur’s wife aged 34), William Snelling (son, aged 11), Richard Ernest Snelling (son, aged nine), Arthur (son, aged eight) and May Snelling (daughter, aged 11 months). With the exception of May who was born in Chailey, the three boys had been born in Reigate so it seems reasonable to assume that at some time after Arthur’s birth around 1892 and before May’s birth (probably in May 1900), the family had moved from Reigate to Chailey.

Arthur Snelling is noted in the October 1914 issue of Chailey Parish Magazine as serving his King and Country. In October 1915 he is reported as lance-corporal serving with the ASC in France; subsequently promoted to corporal in November 1915 and sergeant in May 1916. On December 22nd 1916, The East Sussex News reported, “Sgt A Snelling (ASC) and Pte R Snelling of the Royal Fusiliers, both sons of Mr and Mrs A Snelling of Roeheath Common, are home on leave. Sgt Snelling has been in France since the outbreak of war and his brother for two years.”

It then appears that Arthur Snelling transferred out of the ASC to an infantry battalion because in January 1918, under the NCO section of Chailey Parish Magazine’s roll of serving soldiers, the following appears: Snelling, Rif A, 21st KRR. It was not to be a lucky move. In November 1918, Chailey Parish Magazine added another name to its roll: Corpl A Snelling, 21st KRR, died of wounds, Aug 25th 1918 in France. The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission’s Debt of Honour Register makes no mention of Arthur Snelling’s service with the Army Service Corps and records the battalion with which he died as the 13th KRRC and not the 21st. Arthur’s number is given as 13326. It is possible that Arthur transferred from the 21st KRRC to the 13th although this fact still has to be substantiated.

Arthur's service record shows that he remained with the ASC until 1917, transfering to the 21st Battalion in October that year and subsequently being posted to the 13th Battalion in April 1918. He was posted back to the 21st Battalion at some point and died as a result of wounds received in action.


Anonymous said...

Hello Paul,
21st KRRC was disbanded in March 1918. Most of the men were sent to other KRRC battalions.

Liz said...

Snelling's record on Ancestry shows he was 'compulsorily transferred in the interests of the service'to the KRRC on 7 October 1917. His 'statement of the services'shows this was 21st Bn, and that he was transferred to 13th Bn on 16 March when the Bn was disbanded. If you raise this on the Great War Forum it can be discussed at more length.