Submitted by Vicky Williams
Arthur Champney was born in Doncaster in October 1881. Arthur’s father William was the Inn Keeper of the Crown and Anchor Pub in Friendly Street, Doncaster and Arthur lived here with his parents and siblings. William died when Arthur was a young child and his mother Jemima remarried, retaining the Crown and Anchor pub. Arthur received his education at Beechfield School, but his real interest was in horses. Arthur married Kate Davies in October 1903 in Doncaster. Vicky, Arthur’s granddaughter who shared his story with the project, fondly remembers her mother talking about Arthur leading horses from Doncaster train station to Glasgow Paddocks ready for race week. According to family memory, Arthur could speak Romany and socialised with the Romany people of Doncaster.
During the First World War, Arthur put his skills managing horses to good use and signed up in September 1915 to serve with the Army Veterinary Corps as a Sergeant, service number TT/03258. When he signed up, his Arthur’s occupation was listed as cattle dealer. Arthur was discharged at the end of December 1918 as he was as no longer fit to be in the army and received his Silver War Badge in recognition of his service.
Arthur survived the war and returned to Doncaster. He lived with Kate and their children at 37 Young Street, Doncaster later in his life. During the Second World War he served as a stretcher bearer in the Air Raid Precautions civil defense. He died in Doncaster in 1942.