Arnold Illingworth was born in Idle, the youngest of five children of joiner Fred and Harriet.By 1911 Fred was a widower and 13-year-old Arnold was dividing his time between school and being a piecer at a local mill.The first we read about Arnold’s war came in the Shipley Times & Express on 16 March 1917 where find:“Pte Arnold Illingworth, 18 Woodbine Terrace, Idle, has been wounded in the thigh and ankle and is now in Harehills Military Hospital, Leeds. “Pte Illingworth’s brother, Pte Willie Illingworth, was killed in action last year.”At the beginning of May, the newspaper reported:“Pte Arnold Illingworth, who was
wounded early in March and has since been in hospital in Leeds and Malton, has this week been visiting his home at 18 Woodbine Terrace, Idle.“He has had a hearty reception at the hands of his many friends and particularly from his fellow employees at New Mills.“On Monday last, an informal gathering was held by them when Pte Illingworth was presented with a luminous watch, subscribed for by his employers and fellow employees.“The presentation was made by Mr Joshua Briggs.
“Pte Illingworth left his home yesterday to rejoin his regiment.”Finally on 13 July 1917, just four months since that first story, we are informed:“It is with regret that we have to record the death from wounds received in action, of Pte Arnold Illingworth, son of Mr Fred Illingworth of 18 Woodbine Terrace, Idle.“Pte Illingworth was severely wounded in the chest when in the trenches on July 3rd. Whilst in hospital he was visited by Rev W D Stedman, whose wife is living with her parents at Ashville, Thackley, and he chatted cheerily with the clergyman about his home.
“Mr Stedman writes that Illingworth was attended by one of the cleverest surgeons in France but died during an operation owing to internal haemorrhage which the surgeon was unable to arrest.“Pte Illingworth was 19 years old. It is not a year since he joined the army. “He was wounded on March 9th, invalided to England and had only been back in France a month when he received the fatal wound.“He was brought up at the Idle Baptist Church and was highly respected in the district.It is not fifteen months since Pte Illingworth’s brother, Pte William Illingworth, was killed in action and thus Mr Illingworth has lost both his sons in the war.”