49195 SGT. A. JOLLY. MANCH.R.
Arthur Jolly was born in the final quarter of 1894 in Whittle Le Woods. His father was George Jolly (b. 1862 in Whittle Le Woods), a static engine driver in a cotton mill. His mother was Nancy Shuttleworth (b. 1863 in Preston). George and Nancy were married in Preston in 1889 and they had five children, three of whom survived infancy: Harry (b. 1892), then Arthur, and George (b. 1896). The family moved from Whittle to Bamber Bridge in the early years of the century and in 1911 were living at 14 School Lane. Harry was an apprentice mechanic, Arthur and George were spinners.
Arthur enlisted, probably in 1916, and first joined the King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He was assigned service number 23216, but at some stage he was transferred to the Manchester Regiment and given a new service number, 49195, and posted to 12th Battalion. 12th (Service) Battalion came under orders of 52nd Brigade, in 17th (Northern) Division. At some point, Arthur was promoted to Sergeant. In 1916, 17th Division fought on the Somme during the Battle of Albert (where they captured Fricourt), and during the Battle of Delville Wood. In 1917, they were engaged in the Battle of Arras, specifically the First and Second Battles of the Scarpe (9-14 April and 23-24 April respectively). In fact, for most of April, the Bn was in Brigade or Divisional reserve but on 24 April, they moved to relieve 9Bn Northumberland Fusiliers in the front line, occupying trenches north of Monchy Chateau wood (Monchy-Le-Preux). On 25 April, “at 3.30am, the Battalion made a surprise attack on RIFLE trench on a three Company front (one Coy in support). RIFLE Trench runs parallel held by this Battalion and 300-400yds from it and between BIT and HARNESS Lanes. … At 3.34am, enemy discovered our approach and opened fire with his Machine Guns and enemy barrage started. The objective was gained about 3.45am except on the right where two platoons of A Coy were held up 10yds from objective by enemy strong point on road (BIT Lane). … The two platoons on right remained in Crump Holes [army slang for shell craters] all day till all ammunition was exhausted and after they had lost their officers and all NCOs and 75% of their strength. These two platoons then withdrew to the support lines at dusk on night of 25/26th. … Casualties 6 officers, 120 OR.” George was among the dead. He was 22 years old. CWGC now lists forty-one men from 12Bn killed that day, only one body was recovered for burial.
Service Number: 49195
Date of Death: 25/04/1917
Regiment/Service: Manchester Regiment, 12Bn
Cemetery/Memorial Reference: Bay 7
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL