Arthur James Linge arrived Springfield around 1909 where he married and went on to have two daughters. As a reservist he was recalled to the army and landed in France with the war less than three weeks old. He was wounded near Ypres and succumbed to his injuries in November 1914. His home was in George Street. A brother was also killed during the war.
LINGE, ARTHUR JAMES,
Private, 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment
progressing as well as could be expected. Pte. Linge was a reservist, called up at the outbreak of the war. In a recent letter to his wife , dated Nov. 5, he said ‘Am having a rest for a few days from the trenches. Young Rule of Chelmsford, who you saw at Harwich, is dead, shot through the neck three days ago. The same way three men in our section got buried through a shell coming into the trench, making it cave in. We dug them out alive, the Germans shelling us all the time’.”
Arthur was born at Althorne in 1885 (at the time his forenames were recorded as ‘James Arthur’), the son of William Linge and Alice Linge (nee Copsey). Arthur’s father had been born in Mayland in 1851 and his mother in Latchingdon in 1862. They had married in 1880 and year later had been resident at Southminster.
Arthur’s siblings were Edith Mary Linge (born in 1882), William Thomas Linge (1883-1961) Martha Jane Linge (1887-1953), Ernest Henry Linge (1889-1915), Lily Linge (1891-1893), Florence Linge (born in 1894), Elizabeth Alice Linge (born in 1896), Bertie George Linge (1898-1972), Edward George Linge (1901-1933), and his twin Albert Walter Linge.
All the children except Florence and Lily (who were born in Coundon, County Durham), Bertie (who was born at Barling), and Edward and Albert (who were born in Rawreth), were born at Althorne.
At the time of the 1891 census the family were living at Coundon in County Durham. Arthur was aged 5. His father was employed as a coal miner. By 1893 the family were back in Essex and the 1901 census recorded Arthur and his family resident at Back Road, Rawreth. Arthur was a 16 year-old stockman on a farm. His father was an agricultural labourer.
Arthur married Alice Hart at All Saints’ Church in Springfield on 30th January 1909. The couple are pictured left. Arthur was aged 23, employed as a labourer and was living in Springfield. His bride, three years his junior, had been born in Writtle on 19th April 1889 and was also living in Springfield.
The 1911 census found Arthur, his wife and eleven month old, East Hanningfield-born, daughter Lily Emily Alice Mary Linge visiting the household of Charles Henry Aves at Dukes Cottages in Boreham. Lily had been born on 3rd May 1910 and was christened at Holy Trinity Church in Springfield on 10th May 1910.
The couple had a second daughter, Dorothy Rosina Beatrice May Linge, who was born on 14th March 1913 in Chelmsford and christened at St John’s Church Moulsham on 7th May 1913. At that time Arthur was described as a labourer of Baker’s Yard, George Street, Moulsham having moved there from Springfield.
Arthur lived in Chelmsford, enlisted at Southend-on-Sea and served in the army prior to the war. As a reservist he was called up at its outbreak to the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment and landed in France on 22nd August 1914. He is thought to have been a member of ‘A’ Company.
The Essex County Chronicle of 6th November 1914 reported:
“Raid and the Germans - Mrs. Linge, of Baker's Yard, George Street, Chelmsford, has received a letter from her husband with the Expeditionary Force in France:– "I got your parcel safe, and glad to hear from you. I am all right at present. Have had rather a hot time in the trenches, with the rain and the Germans shooting at us all the time. We have lost a lot of fellows killed and wounded. I have had several narrow escapes from shell fire, but I don't think my turn has come yet. Hope to get home safely soon, as I am longing to see you and the kiddies. The Germans have nearly ruined this country, burning villages down, looting every shop."
The Essex County Chronicle of 20th November 1914 reported:
“The Trench that Caved in - Pt. A. Linge, 2nd Essex, writing on Nov. 5 to his wife, living at Baker's Yard, George Street, Chelmsford, says:– "I am all right at present. Am having a rest for a few days from the trenches. Young Rule, whom you saw at Harwich, is dead – shot through the neck three days ago. The same day three men in our Section got buried through a shell coming into the trench, making it cave in. We dug them out alive, the Germans shelling us all the time. Have got plenty of fags and tobacco, thanks to the people at home. Hope to see you again some day, if God permits."
The Essex Weekly News of 27th November 1914 reported:
"Mrs. A. Linge of Baker's-yard, George Street, Chelmsford, has received a letter from a lady in Boulogne stating that her husband, Pte. A. Linge of the Essex Regt, is wounded and in Boulogne hospital. The unfortunate man sustained a broken leg, a wound in the left arm and a slight wound at the back of the head. The letter added that Linge was receiving every attention, and is
The same day’s Essex County Chronicle carried a similar report:
"Mrs Linge of Baker's-yard, George Street, Chelmsford, has received a letter from a lady at Boulogne stating that her husband has arrived in that institution, having been wounded. He has a broken leg, a wound in the left arm and a slight wound at the back of the head. He is getting every attention, the writer states, and us going on very well considering."
He had been wounded at Ypres. However the optimism of the newspaper reports was misplaced as Arthur had already been dead three days when the papers were published. He had died from those wounds on 24th November 1914 at a hospital in Boulogne. He was serving as Private 7853 in the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment. He was aged 29.
Later reports confirmed the grim news. The Essex County Chronicle of 4th December 1914 reported:
“Private Linge, whose wife lives in Baker’s
Yard, George Street, Chelmsford, was in Boulogne Hospital suffering from a broken leg, a wound in the left arm, and a slight wound at the back of the head. He died on the 24th November. Several bright and cheery letters from the deceased soldier have from time to time appeared in the Essex County Chronicle and much sympathy is felt for Mrs Linge and her young family in the loss they have sustained.”
He is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France (grave: III. A. 67). Arthur was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.
The picture below left shows Arthur’s widow (on the right), their younger daughter Dorothy on her lap and elder daughter Lily stood in the centre rear. Arthur’s sister-in-law Isabella (wife of his brother Ernest) is on the left, with her daughters Ivy on her lap and Dora at her feet. The picture below right, taken later, shows Arthur’s widow and their two daughters.
Arthur's widow subsequently married 31 year-old widower Henry Charles Duce at St John’s Moulsham on 4th December 1915. The event was reported upon in the Essex County Chronicle six days later:
“War Widow Marries - The first war widow to marry in the borough is Mrs A. Linge, of George Street, whose husband, called up with the reserves to the 2nd Essex Regt., died over a year ago from wounds received at Ypres.
The bridegroom was Lance-Corpl. Henry Charles Duce, of the Rifle Brigade, a tram conductor under the West Ham Corporation at Plaistow, who served through the South African War as a bugler with the 3rd Essex Regt. He is now stationed at Tring.
The wedding took place at St John's Church on Saturday, the Rev. L. W. Wright officiating. The bride, who wore a cinnamon brown costume, trimmed with saxe blue, with velvet hat to match, was given away by her father, Mr. Hy. Chas. Hart, of Springfield, and was attended by Mrs Harry Jarvis (whose husband was best man) and little Miss Winnie Jarvis.
A sergeant from the bridegroom's regiment attended, and his comrades have since presented the bride with a silver-mounted umbrella and the bridegroom with a silver-mounted walnut inkstand.”
Arthur is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford, and the Moulsham Parish Memorial, St John’s Church, Moulsham. His younger brother, Ernest Henry Linge, who is also commemorated by the Civic Centre, died on 29th January 1915.
Arthur’s father died in Galleywood in 1922. Arthur’s widow died in 1975. Arthur’s daughter Lily married George Madle (1905-1996) and died in May 2000. Her sister Dorothy married James Rippon and Joseph Dinning and died in May 2003.