Sunday 12 November 2017

Arthur Heywood 23 March 1877 - 26/7 April 1916

My great grandfather Ernest Heywood (23 March 1877 - 30 May 1939) was a twin. He was born with his brother Arthur to William Heywood and his wife Ann (nee Boardman) in Blackrod, between Bolton and Chorley.

Whilst I know a fair bit about Ernest, information relating to Arthur has been much harder to come by, however I can now prove how and when he died and in what tragic circumstances.

He was baptised with his brother in Blackrod on 6 May 1877, and is on the 1881 Census as living in the town. By 1886 the family were living in Newton Heath, Manchester and they were still there on the 1891 Census. The family then seem to move back to Blackrod, but not Arthur.
Arthur joined the army around 1896, serving first with the Royal Lancashire Regiment before transferring to the Derbyshire (4th Manchester) Regiment.

He served in the Boer War.

By the 1911 Census, aged 34, he was still single and living at 245 Derby Street, Bolton with his older brother James Henry Heywood and his family. James was a China and Earthware Dealer, and Arthur was his assistant.

By 1916 he was living at 9 Bright Street, Daubhill, Bolton.

Wigan Council's website states the following:
"Sat 29 April 1916: Arthur Heywood (39), of Bolton, an ex-soldier found drowned at Leigh."

The death certificate was issued by the coroner at an Inquest held on 1 May 1916, with the cause of death as “suicide by drowning whilst temporarily of unsound mind. Twenty sixth or twenty seventh April 1916.” It says “Found twentyninth April 1916 waters of Manchester Ship Canal (Bridgewater Section) near Hall House Bridge, Leigh UD”. Arthur Heywood, male aged 39 years of 9 Bright Street, Daubhill, Bolton UD, Labourer (general).

A newspaper article in the Liverpool Echo for 1 May 1916 says he tried twice to rejoin the army to fight for his country but was rejected on medical grounds. He turned to drink and left a note saying he hated the rejection and his life before tragically killing himself.

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