Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Captain Ashley Herbert Arbuthnot, 12th Battalion, London Regiment (The Rangers), died from wounds received eleven days earlier in action on the Western Front.
The son of a banker, he was educated at Eton College and New College, Oxford, where he took Honours in History and rowed for his college. He went into the family business of Arbuthnot, Latham & Co., in the City of Westminster, and was a rowing coach at the Polytechnic. When a Company was organised from there in 1909, he joined as an officer. In December of 1914 he went to France, shortly after which his battalion was assigned to the area between Bailleul and Hazebrouck, to assist the operations of the British Expeditionary Force.
On the 4th of May, 1915, he was seriously injured in the head and arm by a shell. An officer called for help to remove him to the Ambulance Hospital – the four men who arrived were those he had tutored as boys at the Polytechnic. With no regard for their own safety they carried him on a stretcher for two miles to relative safety; he was then sent on to 3rd General Hospital at Le Treport, where he died eleven days later. Captain Arbuthnot is buried in the Le Treport Military Cemetery in France.
Each of the young men who carried him from the battlefield later received a letter from Captain Arbuthnot’s family with a token of appreciation, including a small bible bearing his name and the date of the rescue.
Ashley, from Bayswater, was 30 years old.