Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park & St Luke’s; Ploegsteert Memorial
Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers
Arnold Pitts was born on the 7th of June 1899 and baptised at , ParkLuke’s Church, Eccleshill on the 19th July 1899, the youngest of five children of John and Alice, nee Sagar.Arnold enlisted on the 12th of July 1917 in the 1st/6th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 60180. His Regiment was involved in the Battles of Lys from the 9th of April to the 29th of April 1918 and fought in the Battle of Estaires 9th to 11th April, the Battle of Messines 10th to 11th April and the Battle of Hazebrouck 12th to 15th April 1918. Arnold went missing on the first
day of this battle and it would be 18 months before he was presumed dead. The following is taken from the St Luke’s Church Magazine of October 1919.The Aftermath of War. We had all hoped that no more names need be added to the list of the lads of Eccleshill who had given their lives in the war. But alas! It was not so and our sympathy is with the family of Arnold Pitts of 35 Charnwood Road, who, after having been reported “missing” for seventeen months, is now reported “killed”. What the strain of waiting for news during those long months must
have been, only those who have endured it can know. Their sorrow is upon them now and they have our sympathy in it but could even the certainty of their loss (and his gain) be worse than the previous “hoping against hope?” From what we are told of Arnold the parish is the loser in that he has been called to the higher service.”Arnold was 19 years of age and he is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial which commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave.
The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south. Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere. Arnold left his effects to his father John who received £7.6.1d on the 28th November 1919 which included a War Gratuity of £5.0.0d.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks