December 1, 1884 (Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK) – July 8, 1916; 31 years old
Lived/Boarded at 95 Ward Street, Norwalk
Unit: 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment

Born to William H. (1857-1937) and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Good Hayes (1860-1938) of 10 Willoughby Street, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, UK. Two brothers, George (1882-1937), and Albert (1887-1976). One sister Alice M. (1892-1924).

Arthur was one of the 11,409 Notts and Derbys lads who did not return from the Battle of the Somme. Contributed by his great-niece, Valerie Mason.

A three-part caption reads 1) Arthur Hayes, Norwalk, Corporal, Wellbach Rangers; went in July 1915; killed by a sniper July 1916; 2) Frederick Hunt, Norwalk, Lieutenant, went July 1915; died a prisoner of war in August 1917; and 3) Walter Smith, Norwalk, Private, went June 1915, overseas with Wellbach Rangers; killed in action in 1916.

Lived in Norwalk and worked at Dresden Lace Works on 30 Muller Avenue in Norwalk (then and now below).

He was in the United States to work and played soccer for the Norwalk Soccer Club.

From , footnote 2: Arthur Hayes returned on the SS New York from New York, arriving at Liverpool on 6 June 1915. He gave an address of “Wooley Street”, Beeston. He was traveling with Walter Spray and Walter Smith, who gave an address of 19 Freer Street, Long Eaton, Derbys, and Fred Hunt, who gave an address of Hope Street, Beeston. Fred, the son of Edward Hunt of 29 Newton St, Beeston, is known to have gone to America in 1911, arriving at New York on SS Celtic on June 4th. He then traveled with his uncle, Henry Hunt, and traveled on to Henry’s brother, “J Hunt” in Norwalk, Connecticut, (Ellis Island and UK Arrivals records)

From The Norwalk Hour May 27, 1915

Four lace weavers will leave town next Saturday for England. Through John T. Hayes Agency, Frederick Hunt, Walter Spray, Arthur Hayes, and Walter Smith have booked to sail on the steamer “New York” of the American line. The lace works being slack, the quartet decided to spend the summer in England and return to Norwalk next fall if they are not detained for military service. They are subjects of King George.

From The Beeston Gazette & Echo July 22, 1916; contributed by Valerie Mason, a great-niece

CORPORAL HAYES. formerly by Mr. Walford at Neville’s factory. Some four or five years ago he went out to America. but when war broke out, he sailed back to England at his own expense with two chums, in order to enlist. And now he has given his life for the mother country. The circumstances of his death are reported by his officer thus: “He was killed last night – Saturday, July 8th whilst mending his dug-out by a chance shot. He was a real soldier—more I cannot say. He was promoted a few days ago and as a non-commissioned officer proved an acquisition to the Lewis gunners.

From The Norwalk Hour July 31, 1916

Arthur Hayes, Prominent in Local Athletics, Dies in Defense of Britannia

Britannia’s sons are imbued with patriotism for the mother country, and at least one from Norwalk has paid the penalty of his life on the Somme front, in France, for on Saturday news was received in Norwalk that Arthur Hayes had been killed in his dugout or trench on July 8. Hayes was the popular goal tender of the Norwalk Soccer Football Club, also of the cricket and baseball clubs. He boarded at one time in the Henson family on Ward Street. The news is considered authentic as it came to the official notice of the local Lace Weavers Union. In the latter order, there is a death benefit of about $390 which will be sent to relatives in England, as he has no dependents here. Mr. Hayes was exceedingly popular and his death on a battlefield is sincerely regretted by many friends. To the bloody battlefields of continental Europe, Norwalk has sent at least a dozen men, all from the Dresden Lace Works. These include Walter Spray, Reuben Spray, Prince Rush, Albert Harper, Arthur Hayes (killed), Walter Smith, Frederick Hunt, Thomas Drinkwater, George Stevenson, William Hatfield, Thomas Atkinson, and Patrick Carver. Harper is in the British Navy. A report was received some time ago that Walter Spray was killed “somewhere in France.” But this was not so for letters have been received showing that he is alive and was probably wounded in connection with this matter it may be mentioned that Mrs. William Spray, his mother, who resides at the Hancock place, on Main Street, Winnipauk, has two sons, one nephew, and three sons-in-law, battling for Britain. Four of these come from the United States and Norwalk and two from England, where two of her daughters are married. A greater exhibition of patriotism could not be given. All of the Britons at the front from Norwalk were connected with the athletic field of sports, and their presence has been sadly missed this year. Their ages range from 21 to 39 years, and if they survive the struggle they will be gladly welcomed back to the old town. They were not forced to go but their patriotism called for what they thought was action, and they departed for the front.

From the Beeston Gazette & Echo July 6, 1918; contributed by Valerie Mason, a great-niece

In loving memory of Corpl. Arthur Hayes. of Beeston, was killed in action on July 8, 1916. Forget you. no. we never shall. Though life has ceased to be we love his spirit just the same as the sunshine loves the sea. From loving brother George – (prisoner of war in Germany) and wife Annie and children at Mansfield.

Private Hayes is buried in Le Touret Military Cemetery, 20 Rue du Bois, 62136 Richebourg, France; Plot 111, Row J, Grave 20. Commemorated in Perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Remembered with Honour.

Photo from Information about this burial location was contributed by Valerie Mason.


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.


  1. Thank you so much for this Arthur Hayes was my grandfather’s brother. However he was killed on the Somme and not Cairo, Egypt.

    Private 27308
    17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment
    Who died on Saturday 8th July 1916
    Aged 31

    Buried Plot 111 Row J Grave 20
    Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourge L’Avoue, Pas De Calais, France

    Commemorated in Perpetuity
    by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission
    Remembered with Honour.

    Arthur was one of the 11,409 Notts and Derbys lads who did not return from the Battle of the Somme.


    1. Thank you very much. I made the changes to his web page and to his memorial. I really appreciate your contribution. It’s so important to make the record accurate.


      1. Hi Jeff,
        I have memorials from the local Beeston paper if you would like me to send them. Although Arthur was my grandfather’s brother I never knew of him having any brothers or a sister until after my mother’s death! The newspaper also showed my grandfather was a P O W in Germany when Arthur was killed.
        My grandfather died in 1938 I was born in 1942 He was never talked about. We have an old saying over here “there’s nowt as queer as folk”.


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