Gareth Davies Posted 17 October , 2013 Share Posted 17 October , 2013 201100 LCpl Arthur Feltham, 1st/4th Bn The Wiltshire Regiment, died of wounds on 17 (or possibly 18) October 1918. He is buried in Ramleh. Arthur Feltham is one of 7 men from Chitterne who are remembered on the village war memorial and one of 8 men from the village who died in the Great War. Arthur Feltham was born 1890 in Chitterne and in January 1916 he enlisted into 1st/4th Wilts and deployed by boat to India. In September 1917 the Battalion relinquished its duties guarding the great Indian Empire and sailed west to Egypt, landing in Suez on 25 September and then moving to Al Qantara. General Sir Edmund Allenby’s orders from London were very clear; take Jerusalem by Christmas 1917. It was into this action that the 1st/4th Wilts were thrust and by mid October they were in the trenches in the vicinity of Kurd Hill and Lees Hill, a few miles south of Gaza City. On 6 Nov the Battalion attacked Outpost Hill. In this action 8 men were killed and 73 wounded, all from shellfire: it was estimated that a quarter of these injuries were caused by friendly fire. On half rations and short of water the 1st/4th Wiltshires reached Junction Station on 16 November. The final advance to Jerusalem began the following day. It was wet and the ground south west of Jerusalem is steep and rocky. On 20 November the Wiltshires attacked Kuryet el Enab (which is now called Abu Gosh) and a day later they were in sight of Nebi Samwil (which is where prophet Samuel is said to be buried). Nebi Samwil is known as the key to Jerusalem and it was from there in 1099 that the Crusaders gained their first sight of Jerusalem. On 22 November the 1st/4th Wiltshires were ordered to attack the village of El Jib (the village of Gibeon attacked by Joshua) but sadly the attack was not successful. The 1st/4th Wilts then moved into reserve and headed back towards Gaza, ending up in Ludd (Lydd/Lydda), the burial place of St George on 29 November 1917 and then on 9 Dec they moved to Ramleh, the same day that Jerusalem surrendered to the British. The 1st/4th lit fires and ¾ pint of tea per man was issued in celebration. Christmas celebrations 2 weeks later were even better; although there were no extra rations each man was given ¾ pint red wine. On 1 Jan 1918 the 1st/4th Wilts moved to El Tireh and relieved 1/8 Hants in the outpost line. In January 1918 the 1st/4th Wilts issued steel helmets for the first time and later in 1918 the force was significantly reorganised. In 3 of the Divisions, all but one battalion from each brigade was sent to France and by Aug 1918 these troops had been replaced by Indian Army battalions and so the 1st/4th Wilts lined up alongside the 2nd/3rd Gurkhas, the 72nd Punjabis and the 3rd Kashmir Rifles for the Battle of Megiddo. On 19 September the Battalion attacked Turkish positions in El Tire. The attack was successful although 19 men were killed, including the Commanding Officer, Col Armstrong, who had been with the battalion since the start of the war, first as 2IC and latterly as CO. 62 men were wounded in the attack, one of which was Arthur Feltham. On 17 or 18 Oct Arthur Feltham died of his wounds. He is buried in Ramleh Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemetery which is on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. On 31 Oct the Armistice with Turkey was signed. Arthur Feltham was the last member of 1st/4th Wilts to die in the Great War. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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