Private Arthur Cove S/657 3rd Battalion Middlesex Regiment

A great-great-grandson's pilgrimage

'When colleague invited me on battlefield tour with Andy, I had mentioned that whilst growing up, my family had told me that I had a relative who fought in the Battle of Loos. With that, I passed over the details and Andy began researching.

After passing over some basic details, and after a few follow up questions, within a few hours Andrew had discovered so much about my great-great-grandfather Arthur Leverett Cove.

He was born on 29th November 1877 and had served in the army previously before being recalled on 31st August 1914. His movements leading up to his death can be tracked, from January to September of 1915. He arrived in France on 7th January 1915, however from there he was moved from the 3rd Battalion to the 6th Battalion on 22nd March 1915. Subsequently, he was moved back to the 3rd Battalion on 29th June 1915.

We visited so many poignant places of history and Andrew has a great way of presenting. The group had varying levels of base knowledge, but Andrew was able to be detailed for those who required it, whilst also giving specific accounts and reciting poems/letters for those of us who maybe couldn’t follow the intricacies of the war strategy. This really allowed us to feel the intensity of what the men were going through at the time.

We visited the Loos Memorial, however unbeknown to me, Andrew had done some further digging. He handed me a folder with some additional information he had found in the War Diaries for the date leading up to when Arthur died. It confirmed that on those dates, his regiment were fighting to capture Hohenzollern Redoubt which was a German stronghold at the time. During this fighting, the British were able to capture it, however, were forced back again.

Not only did we have this information, but Andy also took me to the location where we went off- road to get as close to the site as possible. After using the GPS tracker on the iPad, we confirmed that we were stood on the British front-line trenches and were only a stones throw from Hohenzollern Redoubt. We were likely only 50-100 yards away from the place in which my great-great-grandfather had fallen. An extremely powerful moment and something I will remember forever.

Unfortunately, Arthur’s body was never identified. However, we then searched the local cemeteries, and we came across two headstones that were from the Middlesex Regiment. Of course, we cannot be certain whether either of them was Arthur of not, but it was the closest we got and it gave me a great feeling knowing that whether they were Arthur or not, it would have been someone who knew him and was an equally as brave a comrade.

As if that wasn’t enough, Andy also arranged for me to lay a wreath during the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in memory of Arthur and all who gave their lives during WW1. This was truly an honour and a privilege which money cannot buy – and in some ways felt like closure – a fitting way to end the tour.

The detail provided by Andy goes far and above what has been written here, I could go on and on. I am extremely grateful for the time that Andy put into this research - every man who went to war had a story – they were husbands, fathers, sons, brothers – and Andy is doing his bit so that every man is remembered.



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