Arthur Bamford was born on 25 February and baptised at St Michael's Church, Macclesfield on 5 April 1896, the son of Elizabeth and James Bamford, a silk weaver of 7 Prospect Buildings, Macclesfield. In 1901, five-year-old Arthur was living at the same address with his parents and siblings Maria (14), Sarah Elizabeth (12), Florence (11), James (9), Minnie (7), George (2) and Rhoda (10 months).
By 1911 Arthur, then aged 15, had two more sisters, Lily (9) and Doris (6), and was working as a silk doffer.
Arthur enlisted in Macclesfield on 27 January 1913 with the local 7th Cheshire (Territorial) Regiment, receiving service number 1573. He was mobilised at the start of the war and, after training, was drafted to France on 30 August 1916. On 9 October 1917 Arthur was buried by a shell and received a contusion wound, after which he was repatriated to England for a month of hospital treatment at Toxteth Park Military Hospital, Liverpool.
After his recovery, Arthur was posted to the Command Depot at Prescott, and was granted one month's leave in February 1918. On his return to France on 1 April 1918, Arthur was transferred to the 9th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment and was reported missing only nine days later, on 10 April. A brother, George Bamford, was also reported missing and the news was printed in the Macclesfield Times on 24 May:
Mr and Mrs Bamford, 7 Prospect Buildings, Macclesfield, have received official news that their son, Pte George Bamford, Lancashire Fusiliers, has been missing since April 25th ...
A brother, Pte Arthur Bamford, has served since the outbreak of war, and nothing has been heard of him for two months. He was wounded some time ago and only returned to France about nine weeks ago.
The Macclesfield Times reported on 20 June 1919 that Arthur's death had been officially presumed:
Official intimation has been received by Mr and Mrs James Bamford, 7 Prospect Buildings, that their son, Pte Arthur Bamford, 1st Cheshire Regt, is now presumed to be dead. He was reported missing in France on April 10th 1918, and it is concluded that his death took place on or after that date.
A native of Macclesfield, Pte Bamford was twenty-three years of age and was educated at Daybrook Street School. He was connected with the Macclesfield Parish Church and in civil life was employed at Mr Bullock's Dyeworks, Chester Road. The late Pte Bamford was mobilised on the outbreak of war and proceeded to France in 1915 (sic). He participated in some heavy fighting and was wounded three months prior to being reported missing, sustaining an injury to his back.
Pte George Bamford, his brother, is serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers. He has been in the Army two years, and for ten months was a prisoner of war in Germany.... A third brother, James Bamford, has served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
A memorial service to the late Pte Arthur Bamford was conducted at the Parish Church on Sunday...
Private Arthur Bamford has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 61 to 63 on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Arthur Bamford, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private Arthur Bamford is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael's Church war memorials.
Brother of George Bamford, who served as a private with the Lancashire Fusiliers, and James Bamford, who served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; both survived the war.
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past): St Michael's Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 24 May 1918, 20 June 1919, 31 September 1921
Research by Rosie Rowley, Congleton.