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Vincent, Arthur

Bandsman, Private 4353

2nd Royal West Surrey (Queens) Regiment


Arthur Vincent was born in Eastbourne, Sussex in 1880. He was the youngest child of three born to Arthur Henry Vincent and Annie Charlotte nee Spencer. Arthur senior was employed as a gas fitter. Arthur junior’s two older sisters were born in Chelsea and christened at St Luke’s. Why he was born in Eastbourne is a bit of a mystery but this information is given by both the 1891 census and his army service records.

On the 1881 census the family were living at 12, Trollope Street, Battersea and Arthur’s age is given as one. The house was shared with one other family. The poverty map of London colour codes this road as pink to purple indicating that the majority were fairly comfortable with good ordinary earnings mixed with a few who were poor.

From the Poor Law records Arthur was admitted to Beechholme on the 15th of Mach 1889. These records state that his father was a soldier in Leicester at this time and that his mother had deserted the family. It is believed that she had subsequently died. A notation in red beside Arthur’s name states “ adopted” .When the 1891 census was taken Arthur was resident in the school. Both his sisters were working as domestic servants at this time.

Arthur was sent out from the school on the 13th of February 1894 to the army but was subsequently examined by a doctor and returned to the school on the 18th of February. He was then re-sent¬† out on the 15th of April 1894 and accepted by the 2nd Queens regimental band at Dover. A follow up report dated the 8th of December 1896 states “ Adjutant reports conduct all that could be desires, now at Woking

Arthur’s army service records give his occupation as musician. He was just over 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighed eighty four pounds. He had a fair complexion with brown hair and eyes. He had moles on his left shoulder.

Arthur was promoted to private on the 5th of December 1896.

His South African service was from the 20th of October 1899 until the 1st of July 1900 and he was paid a South African war gratuity of £5 .

Arthur was awarded the Queens South African medal with Tugela Heights and Relief of Ladysmith clasps. He was invalided home to England where he remained for a period. During this time he was promoted to Lance Corporal and granted 3 good conduct badges. He also passed stretcher bearer exams in 1903 and 1907. He was discharged after completion of his period of army service.

His next of kin was given as his sister Annie of 16, Bayswater Road,


He cannot be traced for sure on the 1911 census and it is not known whether he ever married or when he died.

Research by Rachel and Jim Stapleton

SOURCES :- Find My Past, Ancestry

Last updated: 10 September 2016

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