Soldier died on Hindenburg Line

Arthur Fidoe
Arthur Fidoe

Following our appeal for First World War stories, Stephanie Bennett, curatorial officer of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum in Warwick, has sent in details about Leamington soldier Arthur Oliver Fidoe.

The museum has his medals, a badge and photos.

Arthur lived at 4 Clapham Street in Leamington and before the war he worked as a railway carriage cleaner at Leamington for the Great Western Railway.

When he joined the Army in 1916 he was 30 years old. He went to France with the 2/7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in August 1916.

He started off fighting in the Somme area of France. Then in 1917 his battalion was part of the Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line. In April they were near St Quentin.

At the end of July they moved to the Ypres area as part of the Third Battle of Ypres. They were in the trenches beyond Wieltje in late August.

In September the battalion went to hold trenches at the chemical works before Arras.

On November 30 they moved back to the Hindenburg Line near Gouzeaucourt on the Welsh Ridge where they went into the front line on December 3. The enemy launched an offensive which resulted in several attacks and counter attacks where the trenches were contested. During the fighting he acted as a stretcher-bearer and was wounded. The battalion was not relieved until the December 5.

Arthur, sadly like many soldiers, gave the ultimate sacrifice. He died of wounds on December 4 1917.

It was thought that on the 3rd and 4th 16 other ranks were killed and 79 were wounded (by the end of the three days this had increased to 32 killed, 157 wounded and 29 missing).

Arthur is one of 1,085 soldiers buried in the Fins New British Cemetery in the village of Sorel-Le-Grand in the Somme area of France. He was the third son of David Fidoe. His brother served in the Rifle Brigade in Salonika. His medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, were sent to his father, along with, poignantly, his personal effects which included some photos, a watch cover, signet ring, cigarette lighter, two cigarette cases, scissors, a purse and wallet.

The Warwick museum collects items for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the county infantry regiment.

If you have any stories about the First World War, please contact Peter Gawthorpe at Leamington Courier, 32 Hamilton Terrace, Leamington CV32 4LY, tel 01926 457732 or email