Arthur Norman Cousin was born 8 May 1891 in Brixton, the eldest of the three children of Smith Cousin (1865-1939) and Hannah Cousin née Prickett (1866-1939). His birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1891 in the Wandsworth registration district. On 16 August 1891 he was baptised in the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel, Hermit Hole, Keighley, West Yorkshire, where the baptismal register shows that the family were living at 23 Rosebery Road, Brixton Hill, London, SW, and that his father was a schoolmaster.
In the 1901 census he is shown as living at 10 Arundel Road, Dorking, Surrey, with his parents and his sister, Dorothy Alice Cousin (1894-1960). His parents were described as a schoolmaster and a schoolmistress. When his father completed the 1911 census his occupation was given as an engineering student and he was living in a eight roomed property at 'Nower View', 3 Falkland Grove, Dorking, Surrey, with his parents and both his sisters, Dorothy and Muriel Annie Mary Cousin (1908-1989). His father was described as a County Council schoolmaster and his sister, Dorothy, was a student.
According to De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1919 he was educated at Dorking High School and at University College, London, where he was a Surrey County Major Scholar. It was here that he won the Ellen Watson Memorial Scholarship in Applied Mathematics and graduated B.Sc. with First-Class Honours. In 1913 he was awarded an 1851 Exhibition Commissioners' Bursary and had just finished training with Messrs. Vickers of Sheffield when war broke out.
He volunteered for active service and on 14 September 1914 was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant in the 12th (Service) Battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment. On 1 November 1914 he was promoted to Lieutenant and on 1 October 1915 to Captain. He served first in Egypt and subsequently in France & Flanders from February 1916 being made Brigade Intelligence Officer in April 1916. He was invalided home suffering from trench fever in January 1917 and re-joined his regiment in October 1917 where he was made the regiment's Adjutant. He was killed in action, aged 26 years, on 7 December 1917. He had been visiting the front line outposts accompanied by an artillery officer and an orderly. When between two positions he was caught and instantly killed by machine gun fire near Oppy Wood, north-east of Arras, France. His body was buried in Plot 1, Row F, Grave 13, in the Roclincourt Military Cemetery, 2 Voie du Rionval, 62223 Roclincourt, France.
Probate records show that probate was originally granted to his father on 6 February 1918 and his effects totalled £221-19s-9d. However, 30 years later, on 6 March 1948, administration with a will was re-granted to his two sisters, who were described as spinsters, and his effects were listed as £106-14s-8d. His army effects totalling £206-15s-8d were sent to his father on 4 June 1918.
He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal and is also commemorated on the Dorking South Street war memorial, in the Dorking Museum website that gives more information about this man, on the Vickers war memorial, on the St Paul's School, Dorking war memorial, and in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.