Saturday, 5 August 2017

Searching for Arthur Sinclair Schindler and the dreadful casualty lists of November 1917

It started as a request to follow up on the life of Arthur Sinclair Schindler, who appears on the St Clement’s Roll of Honour for December 1917.

Now that Roll of Honour was a long one recording 57 Chorlton men who had been killed in action during November and another 8 who were missing.

Many of the names are ones I recognise including William Mee whose family had farmed in the township for generations, Roy Ellwood whose father had written a history of Chorlton just thirty years earlier and Oswald G Worledge whose mother served in one of the local Red Cross Hospitals.

Already some of our families had coped with the news that more than one of their loved ones had been killed.

So in the October of that year Mr and Mrs Lunt of Beech Road were informed of the deaths of two of their sons.  Arthur aged 19 had died on the 4th and his brother Ernest just twenty days later which sat beside the loss of their eldest son a year earlier.

Each was a personal tragedy and a loss to our community but my friend was curious about Arthur Sinclair Schindler who had been living with his parents at 3 Oak Avenue from 1898 for Schindler is not or though she thought a home grown name.

And his father was from the old Hapsburg Empire describing himself in the 1901 census as a Hungarian citizen.

That said his wife was from London and from at least 1884 they had been living in Scotland which given that he was a “pub and hotel manager” is not surprising.

I doubt we will ever know where he worked and for the time being all I know is that he died in 1906.

The family were still at Oak Avenue in 1911 although by then Arthur has moved or was visiting in the night of the census.

And there at present we hit another full stop, for Arthur’s military records are missing, I guess destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War.

I can be confident that he did not enlist in the Manchester Regiment but that is about it.

But like all trails it will start up again and has got me thinking of the other 56 men who also failed to come home.

Pictures; from the collection of David Harrop


  1. I was also intigued by this name and whilst writing about other Memorials in Chorlton researched him I believe he enlisted into the London Regiment whilst working in a hotel in Hastings .He served after dropping his German sounding surname as Arthur Sewel Sinclair dying at Laventie on 26th October,1917 His army papers show he married in St Giles registry office in Edinburgh inJune, 1911