Oldham Historical Research Group


WW1 serviceman

Private Arnold Oliver
154079 Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 19th Btn.
Private 28003, Manchester Regiment.
Private 48588, Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed in action 20th September 1918
Age 19


Arnold was the son of Annie Oliver, of 42, Pembroke St., Oldham, and the late Edwin Oliver.

Edwin Oliver had been born in Dukinfield, about 1842 and married his second wife, Annie Lowe, in 1898. Arnold was born the following year, in Gorton, and in 1903 they had a daughter, Mary Ellen.
Edwin died in 1909.
On the 1901 census the family was living on Toxteth Street in Gorton.
By the 1911 census, Annie had been widowed and was living in Barrow-in-Furness with her young daughter, and Arnold was in the Methodist inspired National Children's Home at Edgworth, Near Bolton.
Annie re-married but subsequently moved back to Oldham in the 1920s.

Arnold must have been barely 16 years old, and under-age, when he enlisted, as he received, posthumously, 'Pip' (the 1914-15 Star), 'Squeak' (the British War Medal) and 'Wilfred' (the Allied Victory Medal). His name, rank and number, 28003, Manchester Regiment, are impressed on the back of the star and on the rim of 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'.
'Pip' was only awarded to those servicemen who had served in a theatre of war between 4th August 1914 and 31st December 1915.

There appear to be 2 medal cards in his name: one for the Manchester Regt. and one for the Machine Gun Corps.The CWGC website identifes him in the Machine Gun Corps (19th Battalion). However, in his photo, his cap badge appears to be the Lancashire Fusiliers and this is referenced in 'Soldiers who died in the Great War' on Ancestry, with his number, 48588,]

"Arnold was bom in 1899 Manchester, the son of Annie and Edwin Oliver. The family moved to Barrow-in-Furness and his Father became a local Nonconformist Preacher, whilst his Mother was the Cook at a local Girls Grammar School. Arnold and Nellie, his younger sister, had a warm caring and secure early childhood. This suddenly came to an end in 1909 when their father died. After his death their Mother struggled to manage the home and pay the bills. A proposal of marriage from a man who ran a small thriving shoe repairing business seemed the end to Annie's worries. He offered a financially secure home to Annie and her two children. After thinking it over Annie accepted his offer and they were married in early 1911.. Arnold was so unhappy living with his Step-father that he was accepted into the National Children's Home at Edgworth near Bolton, Lancashire. There he remained until the age of sixteen years when he enlisted into the Army.

Arnold became Infantryman 154079 when he joined the Machine Gun Corps (19th Battalion).

On the 20th September 1918, just prior to the end of the War, Arnold was killed in action. His grave and memorial are at St. Vaast Post, France. A brass memorial plaque and scroll were sent to his Mother after his death on the 20th September 1918.

Arnold was nineteen years old."

by Norma Eaton

'Pip' (the 1914-15 Star)

'Pip' (the 1914-15 Star)

'Squeak' (the British War Medal) and 'Wilfred' (the Allied Victory Medal)

'Squeak' (the British War Medal)
& 'Wilfred' (the Allied Victory Medal)

Commemorative Certificate :
St. Vast Post Military Cemetery,

Arnold Oliver is also remembered on the Memorial Tablet and Window at St. Paul's Methodist Church, Shaw.

His sister, Mary Ellen's story, is HERE

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Information, story and photos contributed by : Norma Eaton

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