1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment
Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Poperinghe Communal Cemetery

©: G E Conway, 2009
Their name liveth for evermore
Private E J Conway (circa. 1905)
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2nd Lieutenant Arthur Chernocke DOWNES        

Date of Death:
20 November 1914 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
I.B.5.
Unit:
attd. 3rd Battalion
Age:
22
Personal History:
Arthur (not Archer) was the fourth child and the youngest and last surviving son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Villers Somerville Downes (died in 1909) of Aspley House, Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire.  (East Lancashire (59th) Regiment). His mother was Catherine Elizabeth Anne, daughter of Frederick Thompson, of Wimbledon Park.

Arthur was born at Aspley House on 5 August 1892 and educated The Knoll, Woburn Sands, Winchester College and Trinity College Oxford. He had two older  brothers, Edward Chernocke and Vilers Chernocke, and two older sisters, Dorothy and Marjorie. (1891 Census RG 12/1262) The 1901 Census shows the older brothers both at boarding schools, Edward at Chernocke House, Winchester, and brother, Villers Chernocke, a boarder at The Knoll School, Aspley Heath. In 1911 Arthur (misnamed 'Archer') was also at Winchester. (Census RG 14/6122)
Military History:
Currently his Army records are unavailable, and do not appear to have survived the Second World War bombing, nor is his Medal Index Card. He obtained his commission in the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment on 2nd September 1913 and at the outbreak of War he was attached to the 3rd Battalion, so is likely to have arrived with replacements, but again is not named specifically in the War Diary.

He died at Poperinghe on 20 November 1914 of wounds received in action at Neuve Eglise, near Bailleul, probably on 28th October. Contemporary reports state he:   "had left his trench to help a wounded man of his Regiment when he was shot."       (Source: 'The Roll of Honour')

Footnote: His brother Lieutenant Villers Chernocke Downes, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action 18 October 1914.
                          ... about Lt Arthur Chernocke Downes
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This cemetery contains 22 Commonwealth burials, 1 of which is 'Known Unto God'.

The town cemetery was used from early in the War before the opening of the 'New' Cemetery.  The town of Poperinge was in the hands of the British for most of the war, although it was fairly close to Ypres, it was just out of range of almost all enemy guns. It became a base for Casualty Clearing Stations and it was there that these two men died, probably of wounds received during the First Battle of Ypres.

The Cemetery contains 1 named soldier of the Cheshire Regiment.


Poperinghe Communal Cemetery
Lt Downes' gravestone
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