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No. 1191 Pioneer Sergeant Arthur John Linington Lidstone Wills of the 2nd Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment.

Arthur John Wills was born at Ipswich, Suffolk about 1865 the son of John and Margaret Wills. He attested the Suffolk Regiment at the age of 19 on 22 January 1885. At that time his occupation was given as being a bricklayer.

Wills transferred from the Suffolk Regimental Depot to B Coy, 2nd Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment on 27 March 1885, and was appointed lance corporal on 30 May 1885. He was promoted Corporal on 1 September 1889 and appointed lance sergeant - 25 March 1892

In 1892 Wills extended his service to complete 12 years and after being awarded a certificate of qualification was promoted pioneer sergeant on 15 May 1893.

On 4 September 4, 1895, he re-engaged with the Suffolk Regiment at Secunderabad to complete 21 years of service.

Promoted quartermaster sergeant on 3 May 1903

On 2 December 1905, he was allowed to extend his service once again this time beyond the 21-year limit.

Wills was granted the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 14 March 1906 and received the 5 gratuity on 11 October 1912. Wills had previously claimed his discharge on 6 July 1912 at the age of 46 years. He had completed 27 years 167 days with the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.

His deployments were:
Home - 22 January 1885 - 16 December 1889
Egypt - 17 December 1889 - 10 February 1891
India - 11 February, 1891 - 21 March 1904
Home on Furlough - 22 March 1904 - 30 September 1904
India - 1 October 1904 - 27 December 1907
Home - 28 December 1907 - 6 July 1912.

On 7 July 1912 Wills was appointed quartermaster and honorary lieutenant in the 5th Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment.


With the outbreak of World War One, Wills was still with his battalion when it embarked for the Dardanelles on the RMS Aquitania. In C.C.R. Murphy's The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927, the author states that the 5th Suffolk arrived at Mudros on 6 August launched a major attack against  Kavak Tepe and Teke Tepe just six days later. After advancing some 1200 yards against determined resistance the battalion was pulled back two
hundred yards to a line that was held until the battalion was evacuated. During its four months at Gallipoli, the battalion would suffer some 800 casualties.

On 3 October 1916 Wills transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, the Cambridgeshire Regiment as quartermaster/honorary lieutenant and was later promoted, captain. Wills would receive the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory Medals for his service during the war.

Arthur John Linington Lidstone Wills died at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk in 1936.

Cabinet Photograph
Molkenteller, Maisch & Co. - Photographer
Secunderabad, India
c 1894

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