Arthur William Bend

59544 Pte, later A/Sgt, RAMC

RAMC cap badge

A man named Arthur Bend is found on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen, but there is a difficulty in identifying exactly who he was because census records indicate that there were two men of this name in Bottesford in the years before WW1. The man on the church list could perhaps have been either! One was named Arthur William Bend, the other simply Arthur Bend. There are military records for an Arthur William Bend, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), but none have been located for the other Arthur Bend. Notes are given for both men on this page.

Arthur William Bend, son of John Duffin Bend and Harriet Bend

Arthur William Bend was born in 1878, in Bottesford, son of John Duffin and Harriet Bend. John Duffin Bend was born in Bottesford in 1852, and died in the village on 28th February, 1927, aged 75; Harriet was born in 1850 in Whitwell, Derbyshire, and died in July, 1914, aged 64.

In 1881, John Duffin Bend was working as a stonemason and bricklayer, living with his family at 9 Belvoir Road, Easthorpe, where there was his son Arthur and an older sister named Edith. By the 1891 Census, the family were at 14 Belvoir Road, close to Easthorpe Lodge. Edith was now a monitress at the elementary school in the village, Bottesford National School, where Arthur, now 13, was also a monitor. They now had a younger brother Fredrick R Bend, aged 5.

In 1901, Arthur William Bend was aged 24. He had married Katherine Sophia Tailby (born in Thurnby) in July, 1898. They had moved to Thurnby, east of Leicester, and Arthur had become a railway canvasser. Then, by the time of the 1911 Census, Arthur and Katherine had moved again, to 50 Vallance Road, Wood Green, London, but he still worked as a railway canvasser. What did he do? The job title could refer to someone who literally made goods out of canvas, but an alternative explanation is that his job was to canvass for business for the railway, as in this example found in , “James Morgan acted as an agent and canvasser. Canvassers were employed to act as salesmen for the railway companies, offering and explaining the facilities available to companies and trying to secure their custom.

Service records

The data found is very limited. A man named Arthur W. Bend has a Medal Index Card which records him as 59544 Private, later Acting Sergeant, RAMC, awarded the 14-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. However, this must be treated as unconfirmed, in that there is nothing in these records to explicitly link the to the man from Bottesford.

After the end of the war

Katherine Sophia Bend died in June 1930, in Edmonton, London, aged 56. She and Arthur had been married for 31 years. Arthur moved to The Cottage, Cliveden Mead, Maidenhead, where he died on the 10th April, 1932, aged 55. He left 3 daughters and 1 son, and probate records show that his estate was valued at £1156 3s 10d.

Frederick Richard Bend

Arthur William Bend’s brother, Frederick Richard Bend, died 26th December 1957 in London at 99, Camden Street. Born on the 5th August, 1885, he was married to Ellen Kate Marshall at Bottesford on the 9th June, 1910, and the couple lived at 7 Easthorpe Road, Bottesford. Frederick worked as a railway clerk. He may well have served in the forces in WW1, but no military records for him have been located, and his name does not appear on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 servicemen.

Arthur Bend, son of John and Mary Bend

Arthur Bend was born in Normanton in 1892, son of John Bend, born in Bottesford in 1849, and Mary Ann Bend, neé Milladay, born in Welby, Lincolnshire, in 1849.

In 1891 John and Mary Bend lived on Normanton Lane, Bottesford, with six children, Alfred (aged 16), Thomas (13), Kate (11), Charles( 9), Alice ( 5) and  Rueben (2). John Bend was a chimney sweep, and his older sons Alfred and Thomas were at work as farm servants.

John Bend was still sweeping chimneys in 1901. The only children left at home on Normanton Road were Rueben and 9 years old Arthur. By the 1911 Census, Arthur Bend had left home and was at work as a waggoner on Horsendale Farm, Nuthall, near Nottingham. He was aged 19.

Service records

There are online records of a Captain A Bend of the Royal Engineers, but his Medal Index Card shows that he came from London W2, and later lived at Stevenage, and so was not the man from Normanton. There is therefore uncertainty as to the Bottesford man’s military service, which has not been resolved.

After the end of the war

In 1939, a man named Arthur Bend, born on the 28th September 1891 and still unmarried, lived at Rotherville, Highfield, Wingfield, Derbyshire, and was employed as a ‘colliery housekeeper (below)’. He shared the house with a family named Hawksworth. He lived until 1977, when he died aged 86 near Chesterfield.


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