ID: IYS_149 / Edwin Sparrow

TitleArthur Hugh Sebborn killed 27 April 1917

Rank: Private Service No. 29867
Wiltshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Date of death 27 April 1917 Age 24

Arthur was the grandson of Captain Henry Sebborn of Rowhedge 1842-1912 and the son of Henry Samuel Sebborn who was born in Rowhedge 1864. Henry Samuel and his wife Sarah were both school teachers. By the 1901 Census, they were living at Barton, Darlington, Yorkshire. The children were Madge Sebborn aged 6 born West Burton, Kathleen Sebborn aged 2 born West Burton, while the boys had been born in Binnington in Hertfordshire; Arthur Sebborn aged 7 and Sidney P Sebborn aged 9. The 1911 shows the family still at Barton, but Arthur is no longer living with them.

Athur lived in Ipswich; and enlisted in Woodbridge. He was the cousin of Arthur Willis Sebborn, who died of wounds in 1921.

The Essex Gazette of the 16th May 1917 reports that:-
"Arthur Hugh Sebborn the second son of Mr & Mrs H.S. Sebborn of Barton Yorkshire and grandson of the late Captain H. Sebborn of the Steam Yacht Gwendoline was Killed in Action on the 28th April 1917."

He is shown as joining up with the Suffolk Regiment as a private number 14928 Private then being rebadged to the Wiltshire Regiment number 29867 and as a Private.

The 2nd Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment was attached to the 21st Brigade. On 19th December 1915 : transferred with this Brigade to 30th Division. It was formed of many units that had been raised by public subscription and private projects, and was only taken over by the War Office on 27th August 1915. The Division moved to France in November 1915. It served on the Western Front with distinction throughout the war.

The Battle of Albert (first phase of the Battle of the Somme 1916). In the above action, the Division captured Montauban. The devastating nature of the British offensive of Battle of the Somme had caused a serious re-assessment of strategy by the German high command. While the Somme fighting continued and operations on the Ancre went on through the winter, the German army created a formidable new line some miles to the rear and executed a withdrawal to it in March 1917, just in time to upset Allied plans for a new offensive. As British patrols detected that the enemy front line on the Somme had been evacuated, the German withdrawal was pursued. On reaching the new enemy position, they encountered not a trench system, but a veritable fortress: they called it the Hindenburg Line. It was during this advance that Arthur was killed.

Arthur earned the 1914-5 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Arthur Sebborn has no know grave. He is commemorated on the Melton War Memorial in Suffolk. The WW1 memorial is in the form of a Cornish granite stone cross situated within the grounds of St Andrew's, the parish church of Melton in the county of Suffolk. This memorial lists those who laid down their lives during the Great War.
He is also commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Thanks to
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (which wrongly spells his name as Seaborn)
Melton War Memorial, Suffolk. Roll of Honour

February 2021 adapted for Museum website from Ted Sparrow's If You Shed a Tear Part 1 and his Memorial Profile. The original Memorial Profile is at SEBBORN Arthur Hugh.pdf

AuthorEdwin Sparrow
SourceMersea Museum