BITTEN, Arthur Edward Harry

No.242053, Private, Harry BITTEN
Aged 28

10th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
formerly 3/7203, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 10th November 1917

Arthur Edward Harry Bitten was born in Cowlinge in 1889 (Risbridge Q2-1889 4A:663), baptised in Cowlinge on 30th June 1889, son of Charles Arthur and Agnes Elizabeth Bitten (née RANSOME).

1891 census...Aged 2, (Arthur)he was at Lambfair Green with his father Charles BITTEN [29] farm labourer; his mother Agnes [28] born Stradishall; and an un-named brother [3 days]. All were born in Cowlinge except his mother.

1901 census...Aged 11, (Harry) was at Lambfair Green with his parents; brothers George [9],Walter [7], Lawrence [6] and twins Jack and Fred [11 months] and sister Ellen [3]. All are now recorded as born in Cowlinge.

1911 census...He is not found in this census, but given that to have been in France by September 1914, he must have been a regular soldier and was possibly overseas in the Army in 1911 His parents were at Lambfair Green with his brothers George, Walter, Lawrence Daniel (all labourers), twins Fred and Jack; sisters Ellen, Edith[7] and Hilda [5] born in Cowlinge. His mother had borne 10 children but one had died.
Brother Daniel's CWGC entry has the address as Rose Cottage, Lambfair Green, Cowlinge.

It appears he was married and his widow remarried as WARD and went to live at 13 Benjamin Street, Middlesborough. So far neither marriage registration has been found.

Four brothers died in the Great War, Arthur (known as Harry), Lawrence (known as Daniel) Charles (known as Walter) and George William, all are commemorated on this memorial. All of them have their given name order changed throughout their lives in civilian and Army records.

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds in 1915 and served less than one year.
As he died of his wounds behind the lines and his service records have not been found, it is not possible to say where or when he was wounded. The battalion were at Monchy 'enjoying' a quiet spell, but had four men gassed on the 4th.
No explanation has been found for his not having the clasp for his 1914 Star. Unlikely that he failed to reach the front in time , so it is more likely that it was not claimed after the war. After all, losing four brothers, the family had enough to worry about.

The CWGC headstone in Cowlinge commemorating all four brothers

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Harry Bitten is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, grave 6:D:20
All four brothers are commemorated on a special memorial in Cowlinge (St Margaret) Churchyard, south of church

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details