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Commemorating WW1

Lance Corporal Arthur Slater

3 June 2016

Commemorating World War One: Conflict and Creativity is our public engagement project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to design and deliver events to commemorate the First World War centenary.  It’s been fascinating to hear some of the different family memories and histories that people at our events have been sharing with us, like this story from our own Dr Peter Leech who has been doing some research into his own family history. He’s particularly interested in finding out more about his mother’s uncle, Arthur Slater…


Arthur Slater (picture)
Lance Corporal (then) Arthur Slater

“Both sides of my family served in the First and Second World Wars. We know a reasonable amount about family members who served their country between 1939-45, but very little about those who fought in WW1.”

“My mother’s uncle, Arthur Slater, was probably born in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Having survived the horrors of the trenches, he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 1919 or 1920. We had always assumed he may have joined a local regiment, such as the Durham Light Infantry, but a search revealed this not to be the case, and the cap badge and belt buckle are not DLI.

This is the only photograph we have of him in uniform, and we do not know at what rank he finished the war, or his service number. The date of the photograph is unknown, as is the regiment.”
Are you able to help shed any light on this? If you have any information, Peter’s email address is 


1 comment
  1. David Underdown

    As I’ve commented on Twitter, the cap badge appears to me to be that of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. That’s also consistent with what I can make out of his shoulder title, which appears to be straight, and the last two letters could be RC. However, I can’t find a medal index card that matches exactly, this one is probably best but he’s shown only as a private – however, lance corporal was an appointment, rather than a rank during the war, so men are sometimes shown as privates (their substantive rank), rather than as lance corporal. Alternatively, he may only have held the rank of lance corporal while in training, or other service in the UK, and such rank sometimes had to be given up when posted overseas (as it was considered inappropriate to have people with no combat experience being posted into a unit with higher rank I think).

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