Frederick James Arbery

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Simla, Garhwal, India, British Raj

General information

Dental surgeon

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
 —  Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 1st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Casualty clearing station, Godewaersvelde, France
Cause of death:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Godewaersvelde British Cemetery
Plot: I
Row: F
Grave: 37

Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Captain Frederick James Arbery (1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 95th Brigade, 5th Division) died of his wounds on the 9th of October 1917, while being tended at the 37th Casualty Clearing Station located at Godewaersvelde in France.
Captain Arbery got shot in the chest, abdomen and left leg, and it were these wounds that caused his death. It is not clear when exactly Captain Arbery was wounded, but it is probable that he sustained his wounds during the Battle of Broodseinde, which was fought on the 4th of October 1917. The day before the battle the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was located immediately south of the Polygon Wood. During the night of the 3rd/4th of October, the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry moved to the assembly position. The boundaries of the 1st Battalion were Jut Farm on the right and Black Watch Corner-Reutel Road on the left. The objective was as follows. Firstly, there was to be a renewal of the advance against the main line of the ridge east of Zonnebeke. The front of the main attack had to run from the Menin Road to the Ypres-Staden Railway. South of the Menin Road there was to be only a short advance over a front of about a mile, with the objective of capturing certain strong points. The formation of the attack was as follows: A Company was positioned on the right, B Company on the left, D Company in close support and C Company in reserve.
Cameron Covert lay in front of the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, which held numerous machine gun posts. Beyond Cameron Covert, just in front of the objective line, ran Juniper Trench. The whole area was dotted with pill boxes.
At zero hour, 6 a.m. on the 4th of October, the opening barrage fell. At that time the hostile barrage also started. There was also heavy machine gun fire. The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry then moved on without further opposition until the final objective, Juniper Hill, was reached. Here, however, the third portion of the objective could not be consolidated due to heavy machine gun and artillery fire. As a result, the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry side-stepped to the north of the Reutel Road. From 7.30 a.m. onwards the enemy’s barrage got more intense and there was machine gun and shell fire. This lessened between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m..
On the 5th of October 1917, the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry cleared up the situation in Cameron Copse and formed a line running from the Reutel Road to the south of the Reutelbeek. In the night of the 5th/6th of October, the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was relieved by the 1st Battalion Cheshires, which was completed by 10.30 p.m., after which the battalion moved to Bedford House and later to Ridge Wood.

Sources 3

95 Infantry Brigade: 1 Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. (The National Archives, KEW (TNA), WO 95/1577/5 ).
Sources used
McCarthy, C., The Third Ypres Pachendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms and Armour, 1995), p. 97-98.
Sources used
Wyrall, E., The History of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 1914-1919, (London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1932), p. 282-286.
Sources used

More information 3