Stop number YELLOW 6: Facing the A section marker and just a few paces to your left you will find the Bliss family plot. The memorial to Arthur is on the base.
Bliss family plot
Read Arthur's story below and then, before moving on, do look at the ornate Ferguson grave in the row below with its lengthy inscription for another WW1 loss. When you are ready to move on click on the dot/circle for Nurse Nicholson.
Memorial to Arthur Joseph Bliss
Amersham Hill (SWOP BFP06421)
I am Arthur Joseph Bliss 1888-1916
I was brought up in a house that my father built on Amersham Hill which has since been knocked down to be replaced by a block of flats. I must just add that we were quite a well-known and popular family in High Wycombe. Anyway, I was born on the 10th July 1888 and educated at the RGS (Royal Grammar School) between 1895 and 1903. On finishing my schooling I immediately entered the office of my father’s law practice and became a partner, as a solicitor, in 1911. I enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Core as a soldier on the 7th August 1914 and was accepted for a commission as an officer in the 4th Leinster Regiment in April 1915.
After training in Ireland for over a year I was sent to join the 7th Leinsters in France at the age of 28, and this is where my journey began.
I wrote to my parents frequently and the last letter I sent was on the 2nd September 1916. About two weeks later my family were sent a telegram notifying them that I was missing in action, however this was shortly followed by a telegram reporting my death in action on the 9th September (only one week after my last letter).
The telegram didn’t give much detail but this is what happened on the day of my death, 9th September 1916. We were around Guillemont and made our second attack on that day. At 4.45pm the attack commenced. The enemy however was found well prepared and the trenches evidently untouched by our bombardment. This caused a decided check and in spite of further attempts this trench could not be captured. We were now halfway to our target but the German trenches were high up above on hills which meant we were an easy target. I was shot dead on these lines around Guillemont, the shot was clean and I died without any suffering.
I got very close with the officers in my Battalion, especially the Captain of my regiment, E. L. L. Acton, who I will greatly miss. My Battalion was extremely kind to me despite the fact that I only knew them for about a fortnight and we built strong relationships to help us through the tough war. Captain Acton sent a letter to my home after my death which informed them that I was killed in action and added, “I had only known your son for about a fortnight, but during that time I got to like him immensely. He was universally popular with every officer in this Battalion, and we felt his loss keenly. Unfortunately, we were unable to recover the body, as we could not spare the men, owing to the large number of wounded who had to be removed”.
I am pleased to have survived at least half of one of the bloodiest battles in history and I am proud to be one of the many who died for their country.
Arthur Joseph Bliss researched and performed by Charlotte, Wycombe Abbey To see the performance on YouTube click here.