Elbourne, Arthur Josiah, L/Cpl 17860 11th Suffolk Regiment, Survived WW1 From Stapleford/Steeple Morden

L/Cpl 17860 Arthur Josiah Elbourne.  Born in 1877 in Stapleford, near Cambridge, he served in the Cambs Squadron, The Duke Of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars during his part time Territorial attachments. Their HQ’s were located at 51, Norwich St, Cambridge. His picture taken in uniform of the Hussars was taken at Colchester around 1898 when he would have been 21 years old. The Suffolk Hussars were kept in the form of 4 Squadrons and were all stood down on 14th August 1914. Arthur being a Territorial was either recalled or volunteered, enlisting on 12th December 1914.  He was 37 years old when he returned to Army Service.

 He was living in the terraced a cottage on Heath Farm, Stapleford, (still in place). That is half way up the Gog Magog Hill. He was married to Elizabeth Jane and they had 4 children.  Unable to imagine what they discussed about him volunteering for service. service. Perhaps a combination of the drudgery of agricultural work, poor pay may have been issues. In the Army there were good allowances for wife and children compared with civvy street.

There was more to the business than I know, as her father, my great grandfather because of the concern for his daughter being left alone on this isolated farm, drove his horse and cart from Steeple Morden to Stapelford, collected them all, together with their affects and took them back to Steeple Morden where an end terrace had been found for them to live whilst Grandfather was in the Army. Grandmother was left expecting their 5th child after he left to go to France.

 Arthur served in the Transport section of the 11th Suffolks from early 1916 and was involved in clearing the Somme Battlefield near Ovillers in early July 1916. Arthur was discharged onto the Reserve in April 1919 when he returned to Steeple Morden and lived out his life there working as a horseman on a farm.

Submitted by Tony Beeton