Arthur Rann and his brothers. A family at war

Arthur Cyril Rann was born late in 1898. He was the eighth child to  Joseph and Elizabeth Rann who lived at The Gas Works House on Buckle Lane, Normanton, where his father was the foreman. Just out of school at the outbreak of the war, Arthur watched as his older brothers Thomas, Henry, Joseph and Arthur all joined up. At the same time his older sister Hilda was corresponding with Joseph Dyson who came from a local boating family who had joined the army before the outbreak of war. Arthur’s younger brother Norman was still too young to serve in the army by 1918.

Arthur joined up in July 1916 and was posted to the 91st Training Battalion and given the service number 36276. He remained there until he reached the age of 19 when he could be sent overseas. He was then transferred to the 6th Battalion of the K.O.Y.L.I. and given a new number 83183 going to France on the 19th of August 1917. This date was just before the 6th Battalion took part in the attack on Inverness Copse during the Third battle of Ypres. During this action the battalion lost 13 officers and 340 other ranks killed or wounded, 65% of the Battalion were casualties. It may have been at this time that Arthur received his injuries in his legs and he sent at least one photograph of a group of soldiers in hospital to his sister Hilda. The 6th Battalion was disbanded in Feb 1918. Following his recovery, due to his remaining injuries he may then have been downgraded to medical category B3 (only suitable for sedentary work) and spent the rest of the war acting as clerk in various K.O.Y.L.I. battalions before being transferred to the South Staffs Regiment in October 1918 who were based in Lichfield. It was here where he received his final number regimental number of 36276. On the 17th of December 1919 Arthur proceeded to Ripon for demoibilsation.

Arthur never married and by 1939 was living in Castleford and working as a confectioner, his father now a widower and retired was also living with him at the same house.

Arthur died in September 1967 aged 68.

All of Arthurs’s brothers survived the war. His oldest brother John, may have been too old to serve in the war, he was 33 in 1914 and had married in 1911 having followed in his fathers footsteps and worked at the gas works in Mablethorpe. Thomas (who may have been a corporal in the K.O.Y.L.I.) after marrying in 1917 returned to his job as a coal Hewer. Henry (who was possibly in the 2/4th Bn K.O.Y.L.I.) and who already worked with this father at the gas works before the war returned to become foreman, married Sarah and ended his days in Agbrigg in 1964 at the age of 76. Joseph also continued working in the gas works as a fitter and may have moved to Lancashire after the war. Clifford’s war record is unknown but he married Lillian Levit in 1922 and had two children and worked as a parcel porter. He died in March 1963 aged 62. Hilda married Joseph Dyson in 1922 who after leaving the army in 1919 seems to have obtained a job at the Buckle Lane gas works with Hilda’s father!

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