Arthur Reginald Lavender was born in Bath on 17th January 1889, the second of two children to George Charles (or Charles George) Lavender and his wife, Elizabeth. George raised the family in Bath and seems to have been a jack of all trades, finding work where he could, as a porter in a warehouse according to the 1891 census and a stationary engine driver ten years later.
On 1st December 1907, at the age of just 18, Arthur married Kate Pearce, a painter’s daughter from Weston-super-Mare. The young couple went on to have a son, Sidney, who was born the following year.
By 1911, Arthur was working in Weston-super-Mare as a warehouseman at a local laundry and, on the day of that year’s census, was staying with his father-in-law. Kate, meanwhile, had taken Sidney to see her brother, Frank, who lived in Bristol.
War was coming to Europe, and, in November 1915, Arthur signed up, joining the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private. After initial training – including a course on First Aid, he was sent overseas on 11th April 1916, where he was assigned to the 27th Casualty Clearing Station.
Private Lavender’s time in the RAMC seems to have been a complicated one. He was admitted to a field hospital within a month of arriving in France with a double inguinal hernia, a condition that continued to dog him over the coming months.
Arthur was eventually shipped to England in March 1917 for an operation at the Metropolitan Hospital in London. The operation itself seemed to have been a success, but, while admitted, he contracted pneumonia, and it was this lung condition that was to end his life. Private Lavender passed away on 7th May 1917, aged just 28 years old.
Arthur Reginald Lavender was laid to rest in the Milton Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare.