PRIVATE DAVID EDWARD ARNOLD
16TH APRIL 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: AUBIGNY BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
This heartfelt piece of verse was written by Private Arnold's father. It was, of course, extremely difficult for the bereaved when the soldiers came home to great rejoicing. For some relations these were the hardest days of all.
David Arnold enlisted in September 1915 aged 18. He left Australia in January 1916 and served with the 55th Battalion Australian Infantry in France from 12 August 1917. He was killed by a shell in the trenches on 16 April 1918. A witness told the Australian Red Cross:
"I knew both the above [Lieutenant Collins and Private DE Arnold] - they were in No. 1 Platoon. We were in the front line at Villers-Bretonneux ... I did not see them killed but was told that a shall burst in the trench and killed six of them ... This was in the morning. That same night, as I was doing despatch running, I saw Collins and Arnold being carried out of the trench, and I subsequently saw the Pioneers making crosses for their graves ... I knew them both well. Arnold was a stretcher bearer. He was a nuggety fellow - a bit deaf - fairish complexion - we called him Dave."