King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Johnson, Arthur Edgar

Private ▪ 1st Birmingham Pals, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Arthur Edgar Johnson, born on 17th October 1885, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1900 as a Foundation Scholar. His father, Arthur Caleb, was Director of JB Brooks, a leather goods business which still manufactures leather bicycle saddles to the same patterns in Smethwick today. The family, including his mother, Fanny, and his sister, Edith, lived at ‘Napier Villa’, Wylde Green.

At School, Arthur was a member of the Second Class in the Modern School (which offered a curriculum that emphasised scientific rather than classical subjects), and he passed the London Matriculation in 1902. After School, he followed his father’s profession and became Director of JB Brooks in Great Charles Street, Birmingham.

In September 1914, Arthur enlisted as a Private Soldier in the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion (14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment), and in November 1915 was sent to France, serving at Vaux, Arras and the Somme. On the very hot evening of 30th July 1916, at some time after 6.10pm, Arthur was killed in the first wave of the attack on Delville Wood, which was part of the Somme Offensive. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, and he left his estate of £3,747 to his father and his sister.