Arthur C Black 1893-1941
Royal Marine Artillery 12948
Bandmaster 1st Class
Served 1909-1932

Arthur Charles Black was born on Sunday 10th December 1893 in Hackney, which at the time was in Middlesex. He was baptised down the road a few weeks later at St Peter, Bethnal Green, London and raised at 85 Warner Place, Bethnal Green by his parents.. his father John, who was a basket maker and mother Ellen. Arthur was the youngest of three children following older sisters Ellen and Matilda.

At a mere 5ft 2ins, sixteen years old Arthur enlisted as a Band Boy at the Royal Marine Artillery Barracks and Infirmary, Eastney, Portsmouth on 8th October 1909.. he was allocated the Service Number 12948. A necessary requirement for recruits was the ability to swim and young Arthur passed his test in May 1910. In 1911 the UK Census listed him as a Royal Marine Band Boy of Eastney Barracks. Shortly afterwards on his eighteenth birthday 9th December 1911, he was advanced to the rank of Musician and posted onboard HMS Superb for a period of eighteen months and the first of his seven ships.
Arthur returned following his first experience of sea-time to the Royal Naval School of Music for a short period before once again gaining more knowledge with five weeks onboard HMS Euryalus.
On 1st October 1913, Musician Black was posted for a lengthy stay of five and a half years with the Royal Marine Band onboard the battleship HMS Temeraire.
Arthur took advantage of the ship having to undergo a refit at Devonport, and at only twenty-one years old on 9th June 1915, he married his nineteen-year-old bride Daisy Hilda Chandler at St Peter’s in Southsea, Daisy originated from Bridgemary in Gosport.
He saw active service during this time on HMS Temeraire, the band was under the leadership of Bandmaster 2nd Class Henry Morton... Arthur and his oppos were amongst a hundred-thousand men that fought in the two-day long Battle of Jutland, which was fought between 31st May-1st June 1916. The main British and German battle fleets engaged each other in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark, remembered as ‘Jutland’ by the British and ‘Skagerrak’ by the Germans, the enormous battle involved 279 ships and was the largest naval engagement of the First World War. Both sides suffered heavy losses of ships and men with neither side achieving a decisive victory.

In 1918, Musician Black gained his first stripe and advanced to LCpl, before making it to BCpl and promotion on 1st July 1919. BCpl Black was then posted onboard the training ship HMS Caernarfon for almost two years. While he was in this post, he was rewarded for his efforts during war, he collected £29 in war gratuities, then on 1st November 1920, Arthur was awarded the ‘1914-15 Star’.. the campaign medal of the British Empire which was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served in any theatre of the First World War against the Central European Powers. It was followed soon after with the receiving of his British War and Victory Medals, the three medals were affectionately known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.
Following their ship postings.. ranks officially always returned to the Royal Naval School of Music as they had to be assigned to a place of work, but the duration was usually spent on periods of leave. Arthur did that again prior to joining his new ship HMS Centurion.. she was a dreadnaught battleship built for the Royal Navy in the early 1910’s. Arthur also gave service with HMS Revenge in 1925 during which he earned promotion to Bandmaster 2nd Class. He was then posted to HMS St Vincent for fifteen months, while he was onboard in 1927, he was awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, before he gained advancement on 1st May 1929 to Bandmaster 1st class. Shortly afterwards on 6th June, Arthur disembarked for the final time, he returned to the Royal Naval School of Music for three and half years to complete his remarkable career. In October 1930 and being a Pompey rating.. he would have been a reluctant rank that moved the School of Music to more suitable accommodation at Deal. Bandmaster 1st Class A C Black was discharged from the Royal Marines on 9th December 1932, the day before his 39th birthday.

Arthur C Black sadly died on 27th November 1941 aged 47, he passed away at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex. At the time of his death, Arthur and Daisy were living at 7 Wicor Mill Lane in Portchester.
Arthur is buried at St. Mary’s Churchyard, Waterside Lane in Portchester, situated at Row 3. Grave 57. The Botticino gravestone originated in Italy and is a type of limestone that resembles marble. Daisy passed away on 7th January 1966 aged 70, she shares Arthur’s grave.

RIP Arthur

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