Arthur Steele

Arthur Beech Steele

Personal Details

Arthur Beech Steele, born in Whitchurch in 1886, the eldest son of George and Mary Steele of Egerton Road, Whitchurch.

Husband of Mary (nee Lloyd) Steele, of 14 Priory Lane, Redditch, Stockport, father of Gladys May and George Beech.

Arthur worked as a boiler maker's labourer, and was in the Territorials. He embarked for the Far East in October 1914.

Military Details

Regiment : 1/4th Battalion (Territorial) King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

Rank : Sergeant
Service Number : 31277

Killed in Action; France 30th December 1917 Age 31

Medals and Awards
Arthur was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal), together with the Territorial Force War Medal

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Territorial Force War Medal

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The Territorial Force War Medal was a campaign medal awarded to members of the British Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who served overseas in World War I; it is the rarest of the five British Great War medals.

The medal was established in April 1920 for award to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who volunteered for service overseas on or before 30 September 1914, and served overseas. They had to have been serving with the force on 4 August 1914 or have completed four years service with the force before 4 August 1914 and rejoined the force on or before 30 September 1914.

Further Information

Whitchurch Herald 2nd February 1918

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 2nd February 1918 of a letter received by Mr and Mrs Steele regarding the death of their son, Arthur Beech Steele

"While out on patrol duties early in the morning of the 22nd January I found your son’s body. I am having sent on to you his personnel effects. The following morning I personally took a party out with me, and we dug a grave and buried him where he so nobly fell. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great trouble, and the very sad news I send you.
JM Bragge, 2nd Lieutenant, KSLI"

Whitchurch Herald 2nd February 1918

If you can provide any further information on Arthur Beech Steele please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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