Formerly 2159, Hertfordshire Regiment.
Jean Garner writes:
Arthur was the eldest of 7 boys born to Edward and Louisa Garner. They lived all their married life in Southill Road and worshipped at St. John’s Church, Boxmoor, and later at the new church of St. Francis in Hammerfield. Edward had a coach building business in Cotterells which survived until the 1950s when the whole area was developed as part of the New Town.
Arthur was 20 when war broke out and was eventually called up to serve in the Leicestershire Regiment. His battalion formed part of the 5 Divisions of Commonwealth Forces posted in 1918 to relieve the French 6th Army who had been holding out at Soissons for 3 ½ years. By May they found themselves facing an over-whelming German attack and were pushed back across the River Aisne to Marne and suffered 1500 casualties. Arthur was killed in this action on 27th May and has no known grave. He is “Remembered with Honour” on the Memorial at Soissons.
In those days the only news received by his parents was a simple telegram stating that their son Arthur had been killed in battle – no details of how or where. It was not until the summer of 2008 that his nephew, Peter, was able to visit the Memorial and pay his respects, sadly long after the death of his parents and all his brothers.
Arthur is remembered on the town Memorial at Heath Lane and on the memorials in both St. John’s and St. Francis’ church.