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Dedication of headstone for WWI Gunner Stanley Arthur

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has erected a headstone in the graveyard of St Michael and All Angels Church in memory of  Melksham man, Gunner Stanley Arthur, the actual location of his remains is unknown.

Gunner Arthur, son of CP Arthur, was born in Melksham on the 1st June 1890. By the outbreak of the First World War he had emigrated to Canada and was a farmer and resided in Windsor Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father was living at Hilcrest, Melksham at the outbreak of war.

Stanley enlisted in the Canadian Army, becoming a member of the 10th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force. The 10th Brigade embarked for Britain on the 26th February 1916 and after a short stay in Britain the Brigade went to France on the 14th July 1916.

The Brigade provided field artillery support as part of the 3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery in France and Flanders until the end of the war.

It is understood that Gunner Arthur was wounded and died here in England as a result of his wounds on the 5th August 1920 aged 30.

It was thought appropriate that Stanley should be honoured, especially at this time of remembrance for our soldiers who died or were wounded during the war.

The Rector of St Michaels and all Angels, the Reverend Barry Blackford conducted an Act of Remembrance at his gravestone on July 1st, coinciding with the commemoration of the outbreak of the Battle of The Somme. Members of the Melksham Royal British Legion Branch and Royal Air Forces Association Branch were present, along with the RBL Standard carried by John Smith, Branch Vice Chairman and the RAFA Standard, carried by Trevor Paterson, Branch Chairman.