66909 Private Arthur Favell Royal Fusiliers
The photo shows Arthur Favell with his wife Bertha and daughter Joan. Arthur was the son of Alfred and Rachael who were from Hemingford Grey in Huntingdonshire. Alfred was the brother of my Great x3 Grandfather. Rachael was a Titchmarsh, the same family in Hemingford Grey from which the TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh is descended. Like others from Hemingford who left the villages for the large towns, the family headed North to Bradford, probably in search of work or what was seen as better opportunities. Young Arthur was born in Bingley and worked in the cotton mills, then later for Rolls Royce where he was employed as a painter. Arthur served with the Royal Fusiliers during WW1 and told of having to kill a German soldier in a one-to-one exchange. The German blinked first and took a fatal shot to the chest. Arthur made time to grant his final wish of a drink and a cigarette and was given the dying man’s Luger, a semi-automatic pistol much favoured by infantrymen, by way of thanks. Arthur married Bertha while he was on home leave but his day was cut short when he was promptly arrested. He had failed to declare the fact that he was already married to Nora, who watched from a distance and tipped off the police. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, which was promptly suspended to allow him to return to the front to serve with the Labour Corps . He then supported the war effort as a driver with artillery battalions and worked on other labouring duties. His Medal Index Card shows his reallocation as Private 420076 in the Labour Corps and also his entitlement to the Great war Medal and Victory Medal. He is believed to have served the prison sentence he was handed down after the war. Bertha and their daughter waited for him and they were married on his release, this time properly after his first wife had divorced him. He then promptly changed his name to Walter Scott after the novelist and went on to run several Public Houses including the Peacock Inn in Birkenshaw. ‘Wally’ was a larger than life character who enjoyed his football and gambling. Background information and photograph kindly supplied by Wally’s (Arthur’s) Grandson Richard Paddison.