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Arkless Pratt (1881-1917)

South Moor miner was killed in action serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force

Born in Front Street, Haswell in June 1881, Arkless Pratt was the seventh child of William and Isabella Pratt. His parents had married in 1871 and had their first child two years later. William was a miner from Coxhoe and Isabella was from Castle Eden; all of their eleven children were born in Haswell. By 1901 the family had moved to South Moor and Arkless, now aged 18, was working as a miner. On 28 May 1909 he left Liverpool, Lancashire on the SS Corsica bound for a new life in Canada but still intending to work as a miner.

There is no trace of his life in Canada until he enlists in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Calgary, Alberta on 14 February 1916. He gave an address in Drumheller, Alberta; named his father in South Moor as his next of kin; gave his occupation as a miner; and made out his will in favour of his cousin, Thomas, living in Horden Colliery.

Private 808609 of the 137th (Calgary) Battalion went absent without leave for two weeks before returning to England on the SS Olympic. He arrived in Liverpool at the end of August 1916 and was billeted at Witley Camp, Surrey. He proceeded overseas for service with the 31st Battalion, joining them on 14 December 1916 near Souchez. Whilst fighting as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division Private Pratt was killed in action in trenches north west of Lens on 10 July 1917. He is buried in Fosse 10 Communal Cemetery Extension near Houdain in France.

Civil Parish: South Moor

Birth date: 29-Jun-1881

Death date: 10-Jul-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 30 Front Row, Haswell (1881 birthplace)
16 Poplar Street, South Moor (1901 census)
Drumheller, Alberta, Canada (1916 enlistment papers)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Miner (1901 census)

Family: Parents: William Pratt, Isabella Pratt nee Hall
Siblings: John Pratt, James Pratt, Margaret Pratt, Jane Pratt, William Pratt, Mary Pratt, Elizabeth Pratt, Isabella Pratt, Thomas Pratt, Alice Pratt

Military service:

137th (Calgary) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
31st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Fosse 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jayell, Durham

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