Arthur Banks 1885 – 1967

Arthur’s date of birth is problematical; in the 1939 Register, he gives his date of birth as 18th December 1885, however in the Birth Index, he was registered in the 1st quarter of 1887, and in both his Marriage and Death Index entries, he appears to have been born in 1887.

His parents were Edward Matthew and Mary Ann Elizabeth (née Beer), and Arthur was born in Shepherdswell. His address in 1891 was Coxhill Cottages, Botolph Street, and his father was working as an agricultural labourer.

In 1901, the family were at Halfway Street and at the age of 13, Arthur was already employed as a brickyard labourer. His mother died in early 1910, and Arthur remained living with his father as the 1911 Census showed, by then at Linden Cottages, still at Halfway Street, with Arthur recorded as a farm labourer.

Tracing Arthur’s War records has been difficult as there are no specific identifiers to ensure that the correct man has been found. The most likely candidate may be an Arthur Banks whose Medal Card showed that he had seen service in the East Kent Regiment, initially as a private with the service no. 6073 and subsequently transferred to the Labour Corps, with the no. 655914.

Following the War, Arthur returned to Shepherdswell, and worked as a gardener. He married Ada Marion Stone, also from the village, on the 9th May 1925 at St Andrew’s following Banns. In 1928, they had twin boys and the 1939 Register showed that they were living at Box Cottages, Coxhill.

Arthur was still working as a gardener and was an Air Raid Warden. His incapacitated sister, Martha, was also living with them. A Dover Express report in 1947 gave details of an accident that he had caused when driving his van in September. He had collided with a lorry at the junction of Westcourt Lane and Watling Street (the main road to Dover before the A2 was built) when the sun had apparently been in his eyes.

Arthur died in 1967 at the age of 80, and is buried in the village churchyard.