Arthur Churcher

Regiment:   Essex Regiment
Service No: 12080
Date and place of birth: 12 August 1886 in Bramley, Surrey
Date and place of death:  no record found

Family background

Arthur Churcher was the third son of Luke and Jane Churcher. In 1891 the family was living at Waterloo Farm, Horsley, Surrey, where Luke Churcher (40) was working as a groom.  With him were his wife Jane (39) and children: Herbert (15), also a groom, Mary (11), Arthur (4) and Alice (2).

Jane Churcher died in 1895,aged 44.

In 1901 the family were living in Station Road, Midhurst, Sussex and Luke Churcher (51) was working as a bricklayer’s labourer.  With him were his wife Anne (52), Arthur (15), a gardener’s labourer and Alice (12). Also living with them was Josiah Skinner (19), a boarder working as a Railway Platelayer. Herbert Churcher (25) was listed as nephew and lodging with William Horne (38) and his wife Mary at Streatham. William Horne was a gardener employer and Herbert a gardener worker.  Mary Churcher (21) was a housemaid in Streatham.

By 1911 Luke Churcher (62) and Anne (63) were on their own and living at 3 Station Road, Midhurst.  Herbert (35) was living in Elmleigh Cottage, Send, Woking, Surrey, with his wife Emma (36) and son Morris Bernard (6). Alice Churcher (22) was working as a domestic servant in the household of Denis Halsted, a physician, and his wife Violet at Rosenhelm, Grove Road, Sutton, Surrey.

No record could be found for Arthur Churcher in the 1911 census.

Military service

Arthur Churcher was passed as fit on 27 August 1914 and took the ‘oath’ at Southend-on-Sea. He gave Luke Churcher, 3 Station Road, Midhurst, Sussex, as his next of kin.  On 17 October 1914 he was discharged as medically unfit, after fifty two days. The reason given for ‘discharge of recruit as not likely to make an efficient soldier’ was varicose veins and his refusal to have an operation. His pension records show that he briefly joined the Royal Navy in 1903, other records suggest this was ‘cancelled by purchase’. He also stated he had served a month in prison ‘for fighting’.

He was in receipt of an ‘armlet’ and certificate at Tower Bridge on 8 April 1916 and his address at that time was 104 Spa Road, Bermondsey, South East London.

Death and commemoration

No verifiable records have been found of Arthur Churcher’s death.

He is commemorated on the Midhurst War Memorial, his regiment being given as Royal Engineers.

He is not listed on the Panels in Midhurst Parish Church but his brother Herbert Churcher is, but not as deceased.

Subsequent family history

Luke Churcher died in 1933, aged 85 and Anne Churcher in 1926, aged 76, both in Midhurst

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project