Private Hugh McArthur

Private Hugh McArthur

Private Hugh McArthur, born on 6 March 1896 at Kildalton on the Isle of Islay, was the younger son of Mary McArthur, a Farm Worker.

His sibling was John.

He worked at Ardbeg Distillery prior to enlisting with the 1/8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 30 June 1913 at Port Ellen.

He arrived with his comrades at Bedford on Sunday 22nd August 1914 from Islay for miltary training. He was initially billeted at Goldington School in the town. He spent time at the isolation camp at Howbury and was admitted to Clapham Hospital to be treated for measles. He was then billeted with Mrs Finedon at 70 George Street, Bedford. He kept in touch with her when he was in the trenches. He volunteered to be the Battalion Signaller and undertook the required training for this role whilst in the town.

In April 1915 he was able to travel home for three days leave before being sent to France on the troopships sailing out of Portsmouth. He was wounded on 6 August 1916 as part of the Battle of the Somme. He died of his wounds on 9 August 1916 at No 3 Casualty Clearing Station and was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’abbe. He is listed on the Kildalton War Memorial.

He kept a diary during 1915, which included his time at Bedford and in the trenches.

Ardbeg Distillery, circa 1910
Ardbeg Distillery, circa 1910. From an old postcard.
Private Hugh McArthur. Courtesy of Richard Galley, Local Historian in Bedford.