Monday, September 08, 2014

G/1967 Private Arthur Thomas Washer, 8th Royal Sussex Regt

Arthur Thomas Washer was born at Chailey in late 1893 or early 1894, his birth recorded at Lewes in the March quarter of that year. By the time the 1901 census was taken, he was living with his family in three rooms at Bureet House, North Common, Chailey.  The household comprised Alfred Washer (head, aged 33 and working as a general agricultural labourer), Eliza Washer (his wife, aged 31), and their four children: Alfred (aged ten), Edith Mary (aged eight), Arthur Thomas (aged seven) and Albert Frederick (aged four).

In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine noted that Arthur was serving his King & Country, recording the following October that he was serving with the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment in FranceThe following month, November 1915, Arthur Washer is noted as serving with the 8th Royal Sussex Pioneers in France.

The 7th Royal Sussex was a service battalion which had begun recruiting at Chichester on 12th August 1914 and would later form part of the 36th Brigade in the 12th (Eastern) Division.  The 8th Royal Sussex was also a service battalion formed at Chichester in September 1914.  In time, it would form part of the 54th Brigade in the 18th (Eastern) Division.

According to Chailey Parish Magazine, Arthur Washer served with the 8th Royal Sussex Regiment throughout the First World War, his name appearing in all issues from October 1914 right through to the final published roll call in July 1919. The 1914-15 Star medal roll tells us that he was discharged to Class Z Army Reserve on the 8th March 1919 but the British War and Victory Medal also notes that he latterly served with the 1/5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

Arthur Washer’s younger brother Albert Washer also served during the First World War.  The two men were cousins of George Trayton Washer.

Medal index card courtesy Ancestry.

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