Hollybush Worcestershire

Arthur Boulter Tombs was killed in the last year of the First World War.


Arthur Boulter Tombs


Thy way not mine, Oh Lord

He was serving as a Rifleman in the London Regiment when he was killed on March 28th 1918. Issued with the service number 572365 in the 17th Battalion London Regiment when he was sent to France in August 1917, he was then sent to the 5th Battalion London Regiment, the City of London Battalion (London Rifle Brigade).


He was 19 years old; he had his whole life ahead of him.


He does not even have a grave. His death was confirmed only after a presumption of his death when he was identified as missing. His name is memorialised on the Arras Memorial in northern France; one of nearly 35,000 other men lost to humanity that are listed on that memorial.


His death probably occurred on the 28th March 1918, the first day of the First Battle of Arras involving his division.


His parents ran the Lodge Inn in Birtsmorton, Worcestershire. Arthur was the oldest son. He enlisted at Bow in London for the Poplar and Stepney Rifles, the 17th Battalion London Regiment. The reason he was in London is unclear.


Sometime after his death, his parents placed a memorial inside Hollybush church in Worcestershire to his memory.

Beneath brass inlaid rifles, the words read:

In memory of Arthur Boulter Tombs 5th London Rifle Brigade The dearly beloved eldest son of Joseph and Ada Tombs Who was killed in action in France March 28th 1918 Aged 19 years Greater love hath no man than this That a man lay down his life for his friends Thy way not mine Oh Lord

Arthur Boulter Tombs is listed on the war memorial which sits outside Hollybush Church. One of five men who failed to return to their loved ones.