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Information from Clive Wood, 2008
Private Arthur Edward Atkins

7180 89th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
formerly 20872 8th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Pte AtkinsSon of Mr Arthur Edward and Mrs Mary Jane Atkins
Husband of Annie Eliza

Aged 23 years

Died 1st July 1916

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial
Pier and Face 5 C and 12 C

Born at Peterborough, enlisted at Rushden.
From the "Burnt Records"

Arthur married Annie Eliza on 11th October 1914 at Rushden Parish Church and they had a son Arthur, and a daughter Bertha Nellie Victoria who was born 7th June 1916. At the time of Arthur's death, Annie was living at 18 Harborough Road.

Arthur signed up on 13th October 1915 at Rushden, to serve for three years, when he was 22 years and 5 months old, and was in the Northants Regiment. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corp on 1st January 1916 and assigned to 89th Company on the 10th March 1916.

Annie was granted a pension on 20th August 1916.

The Rushden Echo, 14th July 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Soldier Victim - Killed Instantaneously by a Shell
A Pathetic Circumstance: Never Saw His Own Child

Pte Arthur Edward Atkins, of the ------ Machine Gun Company, Northants Regiment (son of Pioneer A. E. Atkins, No. 123983, of the 10th Labour Battalion, R.E., of 18 Harborough-road, Rushden), has, we regret to state, fallen in action. Pte Atkins, aged 23, was a married man, with one boy aged three years and a little girl five weeks old. The girl he has never seen. Mrs. Atkins, his wife, who resides with her father-in-law, has received the following letter from Lieut. J. Baker, O.C. No. 3 Section:-

“Dear Mrs. Atkins, -- I much regret to inform you that your husband 7180 Pte A. E. Atkins, was killed in the great and glorious advance of July 1st. I was not with that gun at the time he was killed, but the man from the team said that death was instantaneous, as he was hit by a shell. I was awfully sorry to lose him, as I always looked after men from my own regiment, the Northamptons, and they always served me well. He was no exception. I have been unable to write before, as we have been very busy indeed. Allow me to offer you my deepest sympathies on your loss. He died serving his King and country.”

Prior to the outbreak of war Pte Atkins had served two years in the 5th Bedfords (Territorials). He joined the 8th Northamptons, and when in training at Rushden he used to head the route marches, his previous military training being of great service to him. Afterwards he was transferred into -------- Machine Gun Company. He went to the front about March 4th last. Deceased, who at the time of his enlistment, worked in Mr. Selwood’s boot factory, was a member of the Rushden branch of the National Deposit Friendly Society.

Deceased’s father, Pioneer Atkins, has just been discharged from the Army, being invalided home suffering from neuritis and loose cartilage of the right knee. He left for France on Oct. 5th, 1915, and in about ten days from that date he was in the trenches. He returned home on the night of the great blizzard. He and his son would probably pass each other, the one going to the front and the other returning, invalided, but unfortunately they did not meet, and Pioneer Atkins never saw his son in his uniform.

Rushden Echo, July 21 1916, transcribed by Clive Wood

Struck by Shell Rushden Man Falls by His Gun

Arthur Edward Atkins (Northants Regt) son of Pioneer A E Atkins, 10th Labour Battalion, R.E. of 18 Harborough-road, Rushden has been killed in action. Pte Atkins aged 23 was a married man, with a boy three years old and a little daughter, who was born five weeks ago. Lieut. J Baker sent word to the wife that Pte Atkins was killed on July 1st by a shell, whilst working a machine gun. Pte Atkins enlisted in the 8th Northants, and was afterwards transferred to another battalion. He went to the front in March. Before enlisting he worked at Mr Selwood's Boot factory.

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