Arthur Penton Strong
Lieutenant 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers
Arthur Penton Strong was the son of Arthur and Kate Strong, of Reading. He is commemorated on the footstone of the family grave. The 1891 census indicates that Arthur had three younger brothers and an older sister his father was a builder and contractor. Kate’s brother also lived with the family. They lived at 5. Zinzan Street, Reading. By 1901 Arthur’s father had died and the family were living at 215, King’s Road, Reading. Arthur was now aged 17 and employed as a factory clerk. In 1911 Kate was living at 30. Telford Avenue with her younger sons. It has not been possible to trace Arthur through the 1911 census.
Arthur was killed in action on 26th October 1917, Aged 34. This was the first day of what came to be known as the Second Battle of Passchendaele. On this day the British and their allies improved their positions from Passchendaele to Poelcapelle. Matrix tells us that the attack began at 5.40am. On either side of the Menin road the British 7th and 5th Divisions were frustrated by marshes. The Australians and Canadians took their objectives moving off in a mist that became a heavy rain as the day progressed. The Canadians had 70% casualties. Poelcapelle means church in the bog and it was in a bog that the British fought. Several days later New Zealand troops came upon the remains of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light infantry lying in rows where they had been mown down by German machine guns as they had made their advance on the first day of the battle.
Arthur Penton Strong is buried in Poelcapelle British Cemetery. Location XXXVII. F. 19
This cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other cemeteries and from the battle fields. The great majority of the dead fell in the last five months of 1917, particularly the month of October.