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Arthur Bates

Lance Serjeant Arthur Bates


The birth of Arthur Bates was registered in the March Quarter in Bourne 1882. Later census records indicate that his place of birth was Morton.

Family History

Arthur Bates was born in Morton, Lincolnshire, England to Edward Bates, a farm labourer and his wife Mary Booth. Edward Bates was born in Hacconby and after his marriage to Mary Booth in 1870 lived there before moving to Morton.

The children of Edward and Mary were:-

Thomas b 1871,
Hannah (Annie) b 1872,
Sarah Elizabeth b 1874,
Alice b 1875,
William b 1877,
Amos b c1879,
Charles b 1880,
Arthur b 1882,
Susan b 1883,
George Booth b c1885.

Edward Bates died in 1886 and after this Mary brought up the family in Morton, then moving them to St Peter’s in Lincoln before the 1901 census. By 1911 Mary was back in Morton living with her son Amos and his wife.

In 1911 Arthur is listed on the census in a military return for India and Celon showing him as a Lance-corporal serving with the 1st battalion Lincolnshire regiment.

Arthur’s brother Amos also served in WW1 in the 3rd battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and later in the 2nd battalion.

Newspaper Mentions

Taken from the Grantham Journal 3rd October 1914;

The first casualty in the Bourne District occasioned by the war – On Wednesday Morning Mrs Albert Scotney received an official intimation from the War Office that her brother had been killed in action at the front. Sergt. Bates was a native of Morton but had made his home, when on furlough, with his sister at Bourne. He had been serving with the Lincoln regiment for several years, and seen active service during the South African War, for which he received a medal. In the interval, Sergt. Bates had been serving in India, and returning home to England last year, when he visited his sister.

Taken from the Grantham Journal 10th October 1914;

Memorial service – On Sunday afternoon, a special memorial service was held at the Abbey Church, Serjt. Bates as reported in our last issue, having been killed in action. An appropriate address was given by the vicar, who made a reference to the circumstances in which Sergt. Bates was killed. In the evening the vicar also made a reference to the death of Sergt. Bates. Prior to the evening service, a half-muffled peal was rung on the church bells.

Taken from the Grantham Journal 17th October 1914;

Morton – A memorial service was held on Sunday afternoon, conducted by the vicar, Rev. J. H. Boldero in the memory of Sergeant Bates, a native of this district, killed in action in France. This service was well attended, and was most impressive.
Bereavement – Mrs Janes Knowles of this village received news this week that “Tom Knowles”, able seamen, no. J.12111, belonging to his Majesty’s Ship Torpedo Boat No. 7, was lost overboard and drowned on the 10th”. He was 21 years of age. There are two other sons – Arthur, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery and Serjeant Harry Knowles, 2nd Lincolnshires, who has only just recently returned from Bermuda. Both are fighting with the Expeditionary Force.

The information about Knowles is of local interest, but he is not mentioned on the Morton Memorial as his family came from Folkingham and Newton, although his mother is believed to have been born in Morton.

Military History

No attestation papers can be currently found for Arthur Bates and so the date of his enlistment is not known. The earliest records that have been uncovered are on the 1911 census.

On April 2nd 1911 Arthur Bates is listed as a Lance Corporal serving with the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in India. The exact location is not listed but from other notes on the census and research it is believed that they may be south of Poona. The 1st battalion had been serving in India since November 1898 and did not return to England until 1912.

Because Arthur’s age was given as 29 and he was a lance-corporal it would be logical to deduce that he had been in the army for a long period of time.

In 1912 the 1st battalion were back in England and stationed at Portsmouth.

The 1st Battalion was a regular army battalion and at the outbreak of the great war were in Portsmouth as part of the 9th Infantry Brigade.

The battalion had a large proportion of young soldiers with experience ranging from two weeks to two years when it was mobilised on the 4th of August. On the 8th of August the ranks were joined by over 500 reservists from the depot at Lincoln.

After a few days of training to prepare them for foreign service, the 1st battalion was fully mobilised, with those men not deemed as sufficiently trained sent to the 3rd battalion (reservists).

Arthur along with the 1st battalion caught a train to Southampton and embarked on the SS Norman for France on the 13th August 1914. The Battalion eventually disembarked in Havre at 2:30 in the morning of the 14th August becoming part of the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division, British Expeditionary Force.

The 14th and 15th in France suffered from violent storms and eventually on the evening of the 15th the battalion was entrained for Landrecies and the battle of Mons.

Over the next few days the British Expeditionary force pushed north and was in involved in the first shots fired by a British force in France on the 22nd August. By 10am on the 22nd the 1st Lincolnshire had marched into Frameries and onto their positions at Cuesmes by 12 noon. By the evening of the 22nd the British Expeditionary force had heard that the French had been pushed back by the enemy, leaving the British 9 miles ahead of the French main line.

The morning of the 23rd saw the Lincolns holding off the enemy from their forward positions and by 6pm on the 23rd they had orders to retire back to Frameries where they would form the rear guard for the brigade to withdraw from the area.

Overnight the Lincolns had taken over an orchard in the Nothwest of Frameries and reinforced the defences with their trenching tools.

Daylight on the 24th brought an artillery barrage onto the town and eventually the Lincoln’s positions were under heavy attack from an enemy force that were surprised by the resistance that was put up both the Lincolns and the South Lancashire battalions.

Eventually after 3 or 4 hours of heavy fighting in which the Lincoln’s machine guns did a great job in holding up the enemy, the positions were eventually lost, but not before the two brigades of the British Expeditionary Force were able to have enough time to withdraw to Genly.

The losses of the 1st Lincolnshire numbered 4 officers and 130 other ranks over the days of the 23rd and 24th August 1914.

Lance Sergeant  Arthur Bates was killed holding the corner of the orchard in Frameries.

In 1918 after the armistice two Captains of the Lincolnshire Regiment returned to Frameries to mark the graves of those killed in their brave action including that of Arthur Bates as can be seen in the plan below.

The medal roll of honour shows Arthur first as a private in the 1st battalion and then as a corporal.

It is not known when he received his promotions that ended up with him being referred to as Serjeant Bates.

Arthur Bates 5865, 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, was eligible for the following medals:-

Victory Medal
The British Medal



Lance Serjeant A Bates,1st Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment, is remembered with honour at the Frameries Communal Cemetery.
Grave Ref: I.A.6.

The 9th Infantry Brigade fought their way through the streets of Frameries on 24 August 1914. The village remained in German hands until retaken by the Canadian Corps at the end of the war. The graves in the communal cemetery are largely those of soldiers who fell in August 1914, most of whom belonged to the 3rd Division and largely to the 1st Lincolns. These graves, with one exception, were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice.

Picture taken from the history of the Lincolnshire Regiment

A Bates

A Bate Gate

Please see below for more picture from Frameries Communal Cemetery


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