© Sue and Julian Owen. Terms and conditions.
Private Arnold was the nephew of Mr and Mrs Packman of Crockham. At the time of the 1911 census he was 14 and living with them at Crockham, and working as a farm labourer. He was the same age as their son Sidney Packman, who served in the Royal Garrison Artillery and is buried in Hernhill Churchyard. In the 1901 census the Packmans are one of several families of farm workers living at the Red Lion Inn, and four year-old Percy was living there too, with his grandparents William and Emily.
Private Arnold is remembered with honour at Stump Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme, France, where his grave reference number is A.50 He is also remembered with honour at the War Memorial at St. Michael's Church, Hernhill.
Grandcourt is a village about 12 kilometres north-east of Albert, and was reached by men of the 36th (Ulster) division on the 1" July 1916, but could not be held. It was occupied by the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division on the 7th February 1917, after a series of local attacks begun in November 1916. The Buffs made Stump Road Cemetery in the following month. There are over 250 1914-1918 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over one-fifth are unidentified.
Photos - Owen
National Archives in association with Ancestry.com. 1901 and 1911 England census database.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website: CWGC.org
Faversham and North Kent News
War Diary of the 7th Buffs Battalion
War Diary of the Canadian 4th Division
The Battle of the Somme started on 1 July 1916 when thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces, supported by a French attack to the south, launched an offensive.The attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance, losses were catastrophic and the initial attack was a failure.
In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed. However the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. Attacks continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The chalky mud of the Somme area turned into a glutinous slime, and the onset of winter finally brought the allied offensive to a halt.
Stump Road Cemetery