Private - Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 2nd/4th Battalion - Regt. No. 203353
Arthur Sidney Russell was born in Gravesend on 16 August 1895 to Arthur William Russell (born 1868 in Clerkenwell) and Marian (born 1870 in Swanscombe). In the 1901 Census Arthur was listed as living at 9 Berkley Road, Gravesend with his parents and 1 younger brother, Leonard James (born 30/09/1900). His paternal widowed grandmother, Elizabeth Russell was also listed as living with them, together with a boarder, Policeman Richard Palmer. Arthur’s father was listed as a Commercial Traveller.
Arthur was not a student at The Gravesend County Day School (now Gravesend Grammar School), he was employed there as a Laboratory Assistant, having previously attended the Higher Grade School in Gravesend. The County Day School had been originally opened in 1893 as a school of science and art, located in Darnley Street close to Gravesend Railway Station. (With the move of Gravesend Grammar School in 1938 to its present site in Milton Road, the original school building is now the Victoria Centre for Adult Education). Brother Leonard did attend the school as a student from 1912. The Headmaster at the time was H F A Wigley, BA, FCS.
By the time of the 1911 Census Arthur at 15 was listed as a Laboratory Assistant. The Russell family had moved to 47 Wakefield Street, Gravesend, and father Arthur was a General Shopkeeper, with his assistant Albert Nash boarding with them.
After the outbreak of World War One, Arthur enlisted on 25 November 1914 as a Private in the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) 2nd/4th Battalion, Regiment No. 203353. He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Gallipoli from 18 July 1915, taking part in the landing at Suvla Bay in August that year, however he was later invalided to Malta with dysentery. Re-joining his battalion in Egypt as a member of Signalling Section D, he later went on to spend 6 weeks at the School for Signalling in Zeitoun,. He was re-called to join his Battalion in Gaza at the end of March 1917, taking part in the action at Gaza from 26 March. Arthur was killed near Gaza on the 19 April 1917 whilst attempting to lay cable. The family address at the time was given as 31 Campbell Road, Gravesend.
Arthur Sidney Russell is buried at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel and Palestine – Burial Plot XXX C16.