This blog regularly returns to the original recording and notes of 8055 Private Arthur Bell. Efforts continue to be made to identify the people and places referred to in Grandad’s notes. This post concerns the identification of 9519 Ruben Schofield as the brother of 8284 Private Robert Schofield of III Platoon. Ruben was killed at Montauban on 1st July 1916. Here’s Arthur Bell’s note about his return to happy valley on 3rd July 1916:-
“Our lot were under canvas, and we were told what heart-breaking roll-calls there had been. One particular man in our platoon had lost the younger brother whom he had been at great pains to have transferred from another battalion.”
Ruben was born on 11th December 1894. He Worked for A.C. Lindley, 12 Albert St, Manchester. Ruben and brother Thomas had both been members of the Adelphi Lads Club in Salford.
His Service Records show Ruben transferred to 17th Manchesters on 11/4/1915. The Military History Sheet identifies Service at Home from 1/10/1914. This is the date he enlisted as No. 10611 in the “1st Salford Battalion” Lancashire Fusiliers (LF). This became the 15th Service Battalion or the Salford Pals and had been training in Conway. The records confirm Ruben was transferred to serve with his elder brother. He had been 20 years 9 months old, employed as a compositor and is noted as being qualified Res Transport. His Disciplinary Sheet records offences for being dirty on parade at Belton Park in July 1915 and overstaying Leave by almost two days at Lark Hill on 10/10/1915. Sergeant Joseph McMenemy was a Witness. This was probably his final visit to Manchester before Ruben had embarked for France with his brother and the rest of 17th Manchesters, arriving in France on 8/11/1915. Serving in the Maricourt sector he was attached to 90th Brigade Headquarters on 3/3/1916, returning to his Battalion on 20th March.
Ruben’s father, Robert Senior was next of kin and recipient of his son’s effects. Robert and his wife Mary lived at 9 Thomas Street, Brewery Street, Salford. There were no personal items and Robert acknowledged his son’s BWM & VM medals in 1922 His 1914-15 Star was returned. Ruben had Robert as a brother in 1919, with sisters Elizabeth and Mary. His religion is noted as Jewish.
Records show the Schofield family was decimated in the period of the War. Two elder sons died in England (as civilians) in 1915 and Ruben’s third brother, Thomas died of wounds six days later on 7th July 1916 serving as No 19946 with 1st Bttn Kings Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment. 43 year old Thomas left behind his widow Florence Schofield, of 13, Barton Street, Lumley Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs. He had entered France after December 1915 and is buried in ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY. In 1911 Thomas had been a paper ruler living at 18 Hanover St Cross Lane. Salford. He had been born on 21st September 1879.
Robert was the final surviving son of 5 brothers alive in 1914. Robert served in 17th Manchesters and later transferred to 13th and 9th Battalions prior to discharge fit for duty on 21/3/1919. He had been a cloth warehouseman.
Notes from Manchester forum report that Ruben Worked for A.C. Lindley, 12 Albert St, Manchester.