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FALFIELD - Pale brown or fallow open land'. Old English fecal + field.
Taken from A Dictionary of Place-Names Oxford University Press, © A.D. Mills 1998.



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Date Born:

Circa 1881

Birth Place:


Date of Death:

2nd March 1919






272nd Railway Construction Company Royal Engineers

Service No:

57966 WR/286019

Duty Location:

Far East


Buried in the Haifa War cemetery, Haifa, Israel. Plot No: A.58.

Location Information

Haifa War Cemetery lies 3 kilometres from the central railway station on the Tel-Aviv road.

From the south on Highway 4, the cemetery is on the left hand side, just before shops and Haifa docks. 300 metres after the cemetery turn left into Dugit Street. Turn left at the traffic lights and the cemetery will now be on the right hand side, 300 metres after the lights.

Historical Information

Haifa was captured by the Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers on 23 September 1918 and the 33rd Combined Clearing Hospital was moved to the town on the 15 October. Haifa War Cemetery, which was originally part of the German cemetery, was used mainly for hospital burials, but some graves were brought in from the battlefields

Haifa was of great strategic importance during the Second World War because of its deep water harbour and airfield. It was also the terminus of the railway line from Egypt and of the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline. Haifa became one of the main supply bases and arms depots serving the Middle East forces and a large naval depot was established at Haifa Bay. The cemetery was again used during the early part of the war until the new war cemetery at Khayat Beach was opened.

Haifa War Cemetery now contains 305 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 86 of them unidentified. Second World War burials number 36.


1914/15 Star

Arthur Edward Mower was was awarded the 1914/15 star campaign medal of the British Empire for his service in World War One.

This Star is identical to the 1914 Star in every respect except that the centre scroll bears the dates “1914- 15” and the two small scrolls bearing “Aug” and “Nov” are omitted.

British War Medal and Victory Medal

He would also have received the British War Medal and Victory Medal, as it was not awarded singularly. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. With Pip representing either this medal or the 1914 Star, only one of which could be awarded to a soldier, Squeak represented the British War Medal and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal.

Eligibility for the Victory Medal consisted of having been mobilised, fighting, having served in any of the theatres of operations, or at sea, between midnight 4th/5th August, 1914, and midnight, 11th/12th November, 1918. Women who served in any of the various military organisations in a theatre of operations were also eligible.

The Victory (Medal British Empire campaign medal) was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

This medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service before the completion of this period.


Married Sarah Hill from Stinchcombe in 1909. They had three children Edwin Arthur born 09/02/1910 and Mary Eileen born 19/08/1913 and Ronald William James born 08/12/1915. There are records of Eileen and Ronald being baptised in St George’s Church, Falfield.

Military Information:

As the various campaigns and battles unfolded, RE Railway Companies were engaged all over the British sector, joined by Dominion RE Railway Companies. Close examination of the period maps bear testimony to miles of what was to be temporary track that criss-crossed the area. Howitzer Spurs, Ambulance Train Sidings, Tank Enablements and bridges were all constructed, in addition to the constant maintenance and line doubling. Work in progress was always a potential target for enemy artillery and also there were the attentions of the German Air Force to contend with. Zeneghem Yard, for instance, was a natural target and sappers from RE Railway Companies are recorded as having to help extinguish serious fires resulting from air raids.

A primary objective was always to take standard gauge railways as close to the front as possible, to lessen the demands on light railway systems, horsed transport and manpower. For the sappers, work could mean toiling around the clock, especially where lines had been cut by shellfire. Inevitably there were casualties; analysis of the records shows that 173 men from Railway Companies lost their lives. From just the two Regular Companies in 1914, there would be a total of forty-five Companies engaged in Standard Gauge Railway Construction, including other theatres such as Egypt and Salonica, by the end of hostilities. Most of the men in the RE Railway Companies had enlisted for the duration of the war and were naturally keen to return home as soon as possible. However, there was still much line repair work to be done in order to restore the lines of communication now extending deeper into the areas formerly held by the Germans. The Railway Companies gradually began to be demobilised and by August 1919 the last Company had laid its last sleeper.

Other Information

The 1911 census records Arthur, Sarah and Edwin living with Sarah's uncle, William Hill age 83 at Newport, Nr Berkeley. The 1911 census and the baptism record for Mary Eileen records Arthur's profession as a Plate layer for the Severn & Wye Midland and GWR Midland. At the time Mary Eileen was baptised the family were living in Moorslade Lane, Falfield. Arthur and Sarah also had a son Ronald William James who was baptised in Falfield on 29th September 1916. In the left hand column of the register the date born has been enter at 8th December 1916 and in fact should be 8th December 1915.

Credits: St George’s Church Baptism, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Ancestry website, forces-war-records.co.uk.

If anyone believes that any of the information above is incorrect or has information to add to Arthur Edward Mower then please email webmaster@falfield.org.uk


British War Medal

Victory Medal

1914/15 Star


Page last updated: Thursday, April 9, 2015