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Arthur Sidney Hollands

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1894- 1916

Reference: 145193


Private Arthur Sidney Hollands (145193) of the 87th Battalion of the Canadian infantry died aged 22 on 23 November 1916. He is buried at Contay British Cemetery, Contay. He is not listed on the Hampton Wick War Memorial but his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry refers to him as the son of Mr and Mrs Hollands of Hampton Wick.

His Canadian Attestation Paper survives and reveals that he enlisted, under the same service number, originally into the 77th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 14 September 1915. According to his Attestation Paper, he had been born in Kingston on 14 June 1894 and so at the time he enlisted he was 21 years and three months of age. He was unmarried and so named his mother, Mrs Jane Hollands of 226 Kingston Road, then in the postal district of Hampton Wick, as his next of kin. He was a farmer by occupation. He was only 5’3” tall but had a chest measurement of 38¼”. His complexion is described as fair and he had blue eyes and light brown hair. He was a Methodist.

Private Hollands had emigrated to Canada from Kingston. At the time of the 1901 Census he was living, aged 6, at 21 Somerset Road, Norbiton, with his widowed mother Jane Hollands (35) and older sister Louisa Hollands (14), both of whom had been born in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, and both of whom were employed as general domestic servants. The family also included a younger brother, Alfred Hollands (4), who like Arthur had been born in Kingston. Presumably sometime after 1887 the Hollands family had moved from Essex to Kingston. By the time of the next Census in 1911 Arthur had left the family home. His widowed mother was living at 3 Spring Cottages, Fairfield Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, working as charwoman with her servant daughter Louisa (24) and Ena Holland (5), said to be her daughter but possibly her granddaughter.

Arthur Hollands had not just left the family home though. He had, in fact, emigrated to another country: Canada. Fortunately it is possible to track his movements using the records of the shipping lines he used to travel to and from Canada and also the wealth of information contained in the Canadian Census returns. From the UK Passenger Lists we can see that he left Liverpool on 20 April 1911 travelling as a third class passenger on the Dominion, a White Star Line ship. He sailed with a farmer and his wife, George and Edith Hollands (presumably paternal relatives), and their children, Albert (13), Lily (11) and Ada (7) (presumably his cousins). The Canadian Passenger Lists record their arrival at Montreal on 3 May 1911. The Canadian List contains detailed information for immigration purposes including that the family intended to settle in Canada. The three men (George, Arthur and Albert) intended to find agricultural work (plentiful at the time in Canada) in which George and Arthur already had experience (Arthur as a blacksmith/farmhand). The entire family was literate and their religion is listed as Baptist.

Shortly after arriving in Canada, Arthur separated from the family group. One month later on 6 June 1911 he is recorded in the 1911 Census of Canada (Ontario Province) as living with a farmer called Walter H Scott and his German born wife, Maud, at Rawdon Township. The family employed Arthur to work as a labourer on their farm as well as a nine year old girl, Mildred, to work as a domestic. It is possible that Arthur may have found his employment so rapidly through religious connections as both his employers and Mildred are described as Methodists. Interestingly Arthur’s nationality is stated already to be Canadian even though he has just arrived in the country.

According to US immigration records, almost three years later as a nineteen year old farm labourer Arthur crossed from Montreal to Hoboken in the US in February 1914. The purpose of his trip appears to have been to catch a ship from the US to cross the Atlantic in order to visit his mother who was now residing at 3 Wick Road, Hampton Wick. The visit must have been of short duration because the record of Returning Canadians reveals that he had already returned to St Johns, Newfoundland on the Vessel, Victoria, by 12 March 1914.

Fifteen months after the Declaration of War, Arthur volunteered to join the Canadian Expeditionary. On 23 November 1916 Private Hollands died of his wounds at No 9 Casualty Clearing Station, having, according to his entry in the Canadian War Grave Registers (Circumstances of Casualty 1914-1918), received a shrapnel wound to his scalp.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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