Arthur Henry Bloomfield was born on 19th December 1888, the youngest of six children. His parents, agricultural labourer and carter William and his wife Mary, raised the family in the small Norfolk village of East Harling, which was about halfway between the larger towns of Thetford and Diss.
Arthur married Rose Howlett in November 1911; the couple had two children – Margaret and Frederick – who became siblings for Rose’s daughter, Violet.
While Arthur’s military records are scarce, it is evident that he enlisted in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles. Private Bloomfield’s troop fought at a number of the key skirmishes on the Western Front, including the devastating (for the battalion) Battle of Albert in 1916.
A year later, the 8th and 9th Battalions were caught up in the Battle of Messines and it was here that Private Bloomfield met his fate. His pension records show that he was killed in action on 7th June 1917. He was 28 years old.
Arthur Henry Bloomfield lies at rest in the Lone Tree Military Cemetery in Mesen, West Flanders, Belgium.
Interestingly, Arthur’s pension records only cite his beneficiaries as Rose, Margaret and Frederick. This may go further in confirming that Violet was not his daughter.
Arthur Henry Bloomfield was my great great uncle.