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Driver Arthur S Gates

59408 4th Division Ammunition Cl. Royal Horse Artillery

The panel to Arthur The family grave C.110
Son of Mr Herbert & Mrs Jane Gates

Aged 22 years

Died 26th November 1918

Commemorated at Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Havre
Grave Div.62. IV. S.2.
And in Rushden Cemetery
Grave number C.110/111

Born at Rushden.
The Rushden Echo Friday 20 November 1914, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Recruits

Mr John Corby, son of Mr Fred Corby, and Mr A Gates are among those who have this week volunteered for service.

The Rushden Echo Friday 6 December 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden's Casualty List - Victims of the War

Mr and Mrs H S Gates, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden, have the sympathy of their many friends in the district in the loss of their eldest son, Driver A Gates, Royal Horse Artillery, who died in France from bronchial pneumonia on November 26th. The Matron of the hospital at Le Harve wrote to Mr Gates to say that their son's condition had been serious from the beginning, but that he seemed to think he would recover. Driver Gates was one of the first from Rushden to join the Army after the outbreak of war in November, 1914. In April, 1915, he was sent to France, and server for 3½ years in the thick of the fighting. He had several very narrow escapes from death, more than once having his horses killed instantly by shell fire. Before the war he assisted in his father's business. He was well known and was very popular with his many friends and acquaintances in Rushden.

Pte H T Gates, 8th East Surreys, younger son of Mr and Mrs H. S. Gates, of Wellingborough road, Rushden, arrived home last week from Alsace-Lorraine, where he had been in captivity since March 23rd, this year. He was in the 18th Division, the name of which will be known for generations to come for the splendid way in which they carried out their order received on the third day of the retirement to "hold on to the last man, and not to give way on any account." The terrible sacrifice made by the 18th Division enabled the artillery to get back to safety. Pte Gates was taken prisoner with a few others who were not killed. For three days, with no food at all, he was compelled to assist in carrying German and British wounded (on poles and ground sheets) to Metz. Arriving there, all the prisoners were stripped of anything which the Germans wanted, such as field dressings, articles of rubber, printed matter, etc., and were then made to load shells. From that time they were given to divide between 20 men a loaf of German black "bread," a sample of which he brought home. It is hard and very heavy, the colour of earth, and obviously contains a lot of saw-dust. As a change from loading shells the prisoners were compelled to work on constructing railways and roads for the German advance to Paris, working from early morning till dark on one slice of "bread" only.

The Germans told our men that they would be in Paris within a few days, but the accounts given by later prisoners revealed the fact that the German plans had gone wrong. When our men asked for more food the German would reply: "You cannot have more food until your Navy raises the blockade". Even the German soldiers have to send some of their coarse rations home to keep relatives from hunger. Pte Gates says that even the day before the Armistice, Alsatians and Austrians deserted from the German army, threw down their arms, and wore the revolutionist colours. He was one of about 500 who started to march to the French lines, over 100 of whom perished on the journey, which took three days, and it was only the thought of freedom and home that sustained the remainder. Pte Gates is rapidly recovering from the effects of his unenviable adventures.

The Rushden Echo Friday 13 December 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden's Casualty List Victims of the War

In our last issue we reported the death from pneumonia in France of Driver A Gates, R.H.A., son of Mrs and Mrs H. S. Gates, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden. He was well known, and his bright and cheery disposition gained him many friends who will deplore his loss. His letters home were always bright and cheerful, and he was always optimistic as to the final result of the war - even in the early days, when owing to the lack of shells, our guns often had to remain silent and the gunners standing to with their rifles to defend them to the last. The greater part of his time he was attached to the ammunition column whose duty it was to keep the guns supplied. All the time he seemed to bear a charmed life, escaping innumerable dangers and getting out of "hot corners", as he called them, unscathed. For more than 3½ years in the line he was not once hit, but on several occasions his horses were killed and also his fellow drivers, while he himself was not touched. The news of his death came as a great blow, coming as it did after the great victory, when naturally he and his friends were looking forward to his home-coming and a well-earned rest after four years of hardship and danger. He was buried with full military honours at Le Havre Cemetery.

Driver Arthur GatesKettering Leader, 13th December 1918, transcribed by John Collins.

Rushden Brothers - One Dies, the other Returns from Germany

The death is reported of Driver Arthur Gates, R.H.A., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Gates, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden, which took place in the Military Hospital, Harfleur, France, on Nov. 26th, at the age of 22 years, after a brief illness, the cause of death being bronchial pneumonia, following influenza. He was among the early volunteers, enlisting in the Royal Horse Artillery in November 1914. the soldier went to France in April, 1915, where he had served ever since. It is greatly to be deplored that, having undergone the hardships and escaped the innumerable dangers of the terrible war he should be taken at the time of victory. The deceased soldier was buried with full military honours at Le Havre Cemetery.

Mr and Mrs Gates have another son, Pte Bert Gates, of the East Surrreys, who has done his bit. Enlisting in February, 1917, he went to France in January, 1918, and was taken prisoner of war by the Germans on March 23rd, and underwent terrible hardships. In Alsace-Lorraine he suffered the notorious cruelty meted out to the "boys." Out of 200 men with whom he marched towards the Allies' lines after the signing of the armistice 54 died, and he arrived with the survivors in France on November 15th. He was in hospital a fortnight and came home to his parents on Monday.

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