b. 26/06/1886 Haywards Heath, Sussex. d. 03/09/1918 Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt, France.
Arthur George Knight (1886-1918) was born on June 26th, 1886 in Hayward's Heath, Sussex to parents Edward Henry Knight, a carpenter/joiner and Ellen Stoner living in Reigate, Surrey. He had three younger sisters. In the 1911 U.K. Census, Arthur George Knight is found serving in India with the 12th Battery Royal Garrison Artillery and single, born in Ramsgate. We find Arthur George emigrating to Regina, Saskatchewan June 25th, 1911 on the S.S. Albania from Southampton to Quebec where he found employment as a carpenter living at 1843 Rae Street. He enlisted in Regina with the 46th Battalion on December 19th, 1914. At time of enlistment, Arthur George Knight was 5'9" tall, had fair complexion, blue eyes, fair hair and his religion was Church of England.
The 46th Battalion sailed on July 5th, 1915 from Montreal to Southampton on the S.S. Edele. On arrival Shorncliffe Camp, Kent on July 18th, he was assigned to 32nd Reserve Battalion. He forfeited 7 days pay for going AWOL from Shorncliffe on August 19th, 1915. He was then assigned to the 10th Battalion on August 23rd. He was sent first to No #3 Field Ambulance then to No #1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples for treatment for chronic nephritis, then on January 18th, 1916 sent on to Monk's Hospital, Shorncliffe for treatment for mylgia. He returned to the 10th Battalion on May 4th, 1916. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the King of Belgium in the Field on July 12th, 1916. He was appointed Lance Corporal on June 16th, 1917. Appointed Acting Corporal with pay on August 22nd, 1917, he was then promoted full Corporal on September 25th, 1917. He then broke his ankle tripping over barbed wire while delivering food rations, and was sent to 1st Canadian Field Ambulance. He was promoted to Acting Sergeant on March 3rd, 1918.
After taking part in an unsuccessful attack on German positions near Cagnicourt in France on 2nd September 1918, Acting Sergeant Knight led a bombing section forward under heavy fire and engaged the enemy with hand grenades at close quarters. Seeing that the way was still blocked, he dashed forward alone, bayoneting several of the enemy, and forcing the remainder to retreat in confusion. When his platoon resumed its advance into the German trenches, Knight spotted a group of about 30 enemy soldiers retire into a deep tunnel leading off the trench. Again, he hurried forward alone to confront the enemy, killing an officer and two non-commissioned officers, and capturing 20 other ranks. Later that day, when the progress of his platoon was checked yet again, Knight single-handedly routed the German defenders. By now seriously wounded, he was taken to the rear for treatment. Knight died of his wounds the following day.
Arthur was buried the following day with full military honours at the Dominion Cemetery, Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt, France. On 19th December 1918, Arthur’s parents travelled to Buckingham Palace where they were presented with his VC by King George V. On the investiture, Mrs Knight commented “Yes it was all so brilliant and nice, and I highly appreciate the honour bestowed upon my poor boy, but it won’t bring him back to us.” Arthur’s mother died in 1923, and his father in 1942, and the medal passed through the family, until it was presented to the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GLENBOW MUSEUM, CALGARY, CANADA.
BURIAL PLACE: DOMINION CEMETERY, HENDECOURT-LES-CAGNICOURT.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT I, ROW F, GRAVE 15
Haywards Heath Town Hall
Haywards Heath, Sussex (Memorials to Valour)