Arthur Clegg was born on March 14th 1891 in Royton. His parents were James, who worked as a foreman at Platt Brothers in Oldham, and Annie. He was shortly afterwards christened at the Primitive Methodist Church on Henshaw Street in Oldham. Arthur had one sibling, brother Wilfred who was born in Royton in 1897. The 1901 census found the Clegg family living at 164 Oldham Road, by 1911 they had moved to Oldham and were living at 46 Kersley Street. By that time Arthur, then 20, was working as a warehouse salesman for the millinery department of the Co-Operative Wholesale Society.
Arthur enlisted in the Royal Navy on January 19th 1916 and was then sent home awaiting his mobilisation. This came through on April 3rd and on the 8th of that month he was attached to the Sea Draft Battalion at Crystal Palace in London. This naval depot, at the site of the old Crystal Palace stadium in South London, saw some 125,000 officers and men pass through it's doors for training for all branches of the service during World War 1. Arthur was being trained in wireless. One night after being called out of bed during a night alarm he contracted a cold which quickly developed into pleurisy and pneumonia. He was sent from the depot to Norwood Cottage Hospital on the afternoon of May 11th with his parents being informed the following day of the situation.
Sadly Arthur passed away on May 28th with friends present at his bedside. The hospital contacted the Royal Navy who then informed James and Annie back in Oldham. His family arranged for his body to be brought back home and he was buried at Greenacres Cemetery on June 2nd. His mother was later buried alongside him in 1937 after dying aged 71. She was at that time still living at 46 Kersley Street.
The following notice appeared in the Oldham Chronicle of May 26th 1917:
In affectionate remembrance of Seaman Arthur Clegg,46 Kersley Street,
who died in Norwood Cottage Hospital, London, on Sunday May 28th 1916
"The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God"
Father, Mother, and Wilfred
The following year the same notice appeared but also this time including the name of Elsie, perhaps Arthur's girlfriend.
Arthur is not on Royton's war memorial but his name can be found on that of the Co-Operative Wholesale Society in Manchester and he is also possibly the A.Clegg who appears on Oldham's memorial.
Date of Death:28/05/1916
Service:Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Unit:R.N. Depot (Crystal Palace)
Cemetery:Oldham (Greenacres) Cemetery