Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Death of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Blewitt

Heath Manor, Heath and Reach, c.1930 [Z1432/3/17/1]

Thursday 13th September 1917: Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Blewitt, whose three sisters live at Heath Manor House opposite St. Leonard’s Church in Heath and Reach, has died in France of wounds received from a bomb. Born in Pinner and educated at Eton, he was gazetted to his first commission in the King’s Royal Rifles in 1883. He took part in the expedition to Manipur in 1891, and was mentioned in despatches after the action of Abu Hamed during the Nile Expedition of 1897. In the following year he took part in the battles of Atbara and Khartoum, being twice mentioned in despatches, and he saw further service on the Nile in 1899. He served as a governor of Khartoum province under General Kitchener before returning to his regiment. He retired in 1905 and settled in New Zealand. At the beginning of the war he returned to England and offered his services to the government. He was re-employed with the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and placed in charge of several training camps. He was later sent to China to recruit a team of coolies to work in France, bringing them to Europe in a chartered steamer. His most recent post was a command in the Labour Corps, presumably in charge of the Chinamen. At the time of his death he was 56 years old.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer 11th September 1917; Poverty Bay Herald, 21stSeptember 1917

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