Arnold Ramsden

Arnold Ramsden was born in Bolton on 12 June 1887.

He was the son of Nathan and Alice Ramsden of Woodleigh, Breightmet, later Eastfield, Ainsworth Lane, Bolton.

HIs father, Nathan Ramsden, was the proprietor of Nathan Ramsden & Sons Bleaching and Dye works (Breightmet) and later a hosiery manufacturer.

Arnold attended Bolton Church Institute from 13th April 1898

He appears on the 1911 Census as a hosiery manufacturer, presumably in the family business.

Ramsden family tree - pdf

Arnold's War

Arnold enlisted on 5 January 1915 as Private 12751 in the 1st Battalion, the Dorsetshire Regiment. He arrived in France on 18 February 1915.

He died from the effects of poison gas on 2/3 May 1915. As he was buried at Bailleul Cemetery, about 14.5 kms from Ieper/Ypres he may have been taken to a Casualty Clearing Station there between being poisoned and his death. Death from poison gas was agonising and could take hours, days or weeks to finish its victims.

Histories of the battle state that:

"On the evening of the 1st May 1915 a greenish-yellow vapour came swirling slowly from the German trenches, drifting with the wind, curled round the base of the hill, and, gradually rising, engulfed the summit. The hill was held that day by men of the 1st Dorsets and the 59th Field Company R.E. There, facing the oncoming death, they clung to their trenches and were suffocated as they lay. When the fumes cleared away, reinforcements which came up found that one officer and 50 men had gone to their last account, while six officers and two hundred other ranks were admitted to the field ambulance. In addition thirty two other ranks were missing, men who had crawled away to die, and whose bodies were located afterwards. Only one man was killed and one wounded by shell or rifle fire."


Bolton Journal and Guardian
7 May 1915


News has been received of the death of Private Arnold Ramsden, son of Mr Nathan Ramsden, Eastfield, Ainsworth-lane. He enlisted on January 5th in the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment, and proceeded to France about February 15th. His death is due to the fumes emitted from the German bombs at Hill 60, and took place on May 3rd. He was 27 years of age.

Bolton Journal and Guardian
14 May 1915

Victim of German Poison

So far as is at present known the first Bolton soldier killed by the German asphyxiating gases is Pte. Arnold Ramsden, son of Mr. Nathan Ramsden, of Eastfield, Ainsworth-lane. He enlisted on January 5th, and proceeded to France about February 15th. His death, which took place on May 3rd, was due to the German fume bombs at Hill 60.


His name appears on the Roll of Honour at St James Church, Breightmet, Bolton.

Arnold's mother's maiden name was Twisse and he was a first cousin of Morley Twisse, who was killed in action in France on 22 October 1917 while serving as a Lance Corporal with the Royal Engineers.

His brother, Norman Ashley Ramsden, enlisted in the Bolton Artillery shortly after Arnold's death - possibly in reaction to the loss. He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery and was severely wounded at Ypres in 1917, losing both eyes.


Arnold Ramsden

Arnold Ramsden

Private: G/22923

1st Battalion
Dorsetshire Regiment

Born: Bolton 12 June 1887

Died: France 2/3 May 1915

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