ARTHUR WILSON SIMPKIN

Captain, 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment

Died 30th September 1918 aged 22

Buried Ruyalcourt Military Cemetery, France

Son of John William and Emily Simpkin

Lived Joan Royd, Heckmondwike


Arthur was born in 1894 the son of John William and Emily Simpkin.  John was a Mining Engineer and came from a family who had long standing connections with Joan Royd Colliery in Heckmondwike.

Arthur’s parents moved to Midsomer Norton in Somerset when his father took up a post as a Mining Instructor for Somerset County Council.  The family later moved back to Yorkshire and lived at Woodkirk.

Arthur was born in Midsummer Norton and baptised in Morley – his mother’s home town – before the war Arthur was a mining pupil at Snydale Colliery near Pontefract.  He and his two brothers Harry and Stanley served in the army, Arthur and Harry both died in 1918 within six months of each other.  Stanley was severely wounded but survived.

They served together with the 13th Battalion and in early 1917 were engaged in action on the Somme.  On November 23rd 1917 they were in action during the Cambrai offensive and took part in bitter fighting at the capture of Bourlon Wood and village.  Captain Harry Hargreaves Simpkin was killed in action on March 22nd 1918 aged 21 and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial.  He has no known grave.

After the 13th Battalion was disbanded Arthur was attached to the 8th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment.  At 6:30am on September 30th the 8th West York's attacked the village of Seranvillers.  Captain Arthur Wilson Simpkin was killed in this action on September 30th 1918, he was 22.
{PL/KH-ex6}

Medals: Victory and British
Commemorated: Green Park Memorial and Vellum Book in Heckmondwike; St Saviour's Memorial now in Heckmondwike Parish Church; Midsomer Norton Cricket Club Memorial Plaque and Midsomer Norton War Memorial.


The copyright image of Arthur used on this webpage is from the Imperial War Museum "Bond of Sacrifice" collection, the reference is Arthur Wilson Simpkin  © IWM (HU 128040).  This image and other related ones can be viewed in the Imperial War Museum "Bond of Sacrifice" collection by clicking on the link below:-


An article written by Robert Coulson for the Yorkshire Regiment Website can be viewed by following this link.

Can you help? Do you have a better picture, are you able to add more information?
If you can please email us at spenvalleyhistoricalsociety@gmail.com