Arthur Henry Reed Batten was born in the spring of 1900, the only child to Henry and Alice. Henry was a gardener, and the young family lived in the Somerset town of Taunton.
There is little documentation about Arthur’s short life. When war broke out, he enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. While there is nothing to confirm the date he joined up, it may well have been a reaction to the passing of his mother, who died on 1st September 1914, at the age of 47 years old.
Private Batten’s battalion initially fought on the Western Front during the war, before moving to Italy in November 1917, then back to France the following April. It seems likely that it was during this second stint in France at some point late in 1918 that Arthur was caught up in the fighting.
He received a gunshot wound, and was shipped back to England for treatment. Admitted to the Military Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, he seems to have suffered for a long time, passing away from his injuries on 12th March 1919, three months after the Armistice was signed. He was just 19 years of age.
Arthur Henry Reed Batten was brought back to Taunton burial, and lies in the family grave in St James’ Cemetery, alongside his mother.