Alban Charles Philias Arnold, was born on 19 November 1892, in Tattenhall. His father was our local Rector, Charles Lowther Arnold, and his mother was Mary Delamere Arnold. They lived at the Rectory on Church Bank in Tattenhall. Alban was baptised by his father at St Alban’s Church on 11 December 1892. In the 1901 Census, Alban is listed as aged 8.
Alban Charles Philias Arnold is not listed on the Tattenhall War Memorial albeit that he was a ‘Tattenhall Lad’. At the end of his period of office at the Rectory in Tattenhall, his father and family moved to take up a new position at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, Hampshire.
Arnold went up to Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1911. He was an English first-class cricketer; a right-handed batsman who played primarily as a wicket-keeper. He made his first-class debut for Cambridge University in 1912 against the touring South Africans. That same year Arnold made his County Championship debut for Hampshire against Surrey. Arnold represented Hampshire four times in the 1912 season, and in 1913 Arnold played a single first-class match for Hampshire against Cambridge University.
In the 1914 English cricket season Arnold represented both Hampshire and Cambridge University. While playing for Cambridge University in a match against the Marylebone Cricket Club, Arnold made his highest career score of 89. In the 1914 County Championship Arnold played a number of good innings for Hampshire in the County Championship, making scores of 54 against Kent, 69 against Lancashire, 76 against Somerset and 51 against Warwickshire.
Arnold’s first-class career came to an end with the outbreak of The Great War. Arnold was commissioned in the British Army with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers. He was with the Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment) 11th Battalion, attached to 8th Battalion at the time of his death.
2nd Lieutenant Alban Charles Philias Arnold was killed in action on 7 July 1916 (aged 23) at Ovillers-la-Boisselle in northern France during the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (shown below).
Wisden remarked on Arnold’s promise by concluding: “He would probably have developed into a cricketer of very high class.“
For information, Alban’s brother ‘Edwin Gladwin Arnold’ (born in Waverton on 30 May 1891) also died in the same area on 21 March 1918, aged 26. He was with the Royal Field Artillery 232nd Army Brigade and was mentioned in Despatches. He is remembered at the Pozieres Memorial – a stone’s throw from the Thiepval Memorial. At the time of Edwin’s death, the family had moved to Bournemouth.
A Rector, local to Tattenhall, therefore, was to lose two of his sons in The Great War.
Our thanks to Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, in allowing us to reproduce some of their findings here.