Finding the Lost Heroes

Today I am remembering Arthur Herbert Furnell. He was a 2nd cousin twice removed to my wife. When I researched him a few years ago for the Family Tree I discovered that although he was commemorated on the Wellingborough War Memorial he was not known to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and did not appear on their website.

After some further research I knew that he had served in the Royal Garrison Artillery in France and was gassed on the 18th of August 1916. He was treated in hospitals in France and England for several months before being reassigned to munitions work back home in the UK, but his health continued to decline. On the 15th of February 1918 he was finally declared unfit for any form of service and discharged. He received a one off payment of £10 and a very small annual pension. That ceased when he died on the 8th of March 1918. Since his death certificate clearly stated that his death was a direct consequence of his war time injuries he should have had an entry on the CWGC.

I wanted to put the record straight at the CWGC. It is the most complete source for basic information on UK and Commonwealth war dead. Anyone looking for him in the future would find it harder to pick up his trail. So I contacted the In From The Cold Project who I knew had managed to get hundreds of forgotten heroes listed there. I duly sent of Arthur’s life story and his death certificate. As a result of our combined efforts I am happy to report that Arthur Herbert Furnell now has his entry in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission files and his new headstone is currently being prepared. You can see his entry for yourself.


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