Lieutenant Arthur Charles Lionel ABRAHAMS
3RD Battalion Coldstream Guards
Date of Birth 1898
Date of Death 13 April 1918
Killed in action aged 20
no known grave
Arthur Charles Lionel was the only child of Sir Lionel Abrahams KCB and
Lucy (ne Joseph) of 18 Porchester Terrace, London W.
“He had been an attractive child and had grown into a most lovable man, robust in intellect, affectionate in disposition, modest in his successes, imbued with a deep Jewish feeling and looking forward to being of use to his people. He gave early evidence of inheritance of intellect above the average from his gifted parents. In 1911 he was elected to a King’s Scholarship at Westminster School where he instantly became, and always maintained, immense popularity with his master and his fellow pupils.
“In 1915 he obtained a Scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford but immediately joined the Army in accordance with his ardent longing to be of service to his country.
"He had already reached the rank of sergeant in the school O.T.C. and was gazetted to the Coldstream Guards. In the Army, as in school, his unassuming ability won him the confidence of his superiors, and the affection of his comrades. The commanding Officer with whom he served during the greater part of his service abroad wrote to Sir Lionel Abrahams, “I knew your boy well and was commanding the battalion when he joined. He was most popular with all ranks, and he was particularly fearless……….Arthur was a Coldstream Guarder through and through. He fought like one and he died like one.” The colonel commanding the Guards has wrote: “The regiment can ill afford to lose men like him”, and from the ranks there reached his family the equally prized message: “The boys would follow him wherever he wanted them to.”
“After he had been reported missing his parents learned that he fell on April 13th, when England lost a gallant son, Anglo-Jewry one of the most promising of its youngest generation, and his immediate family the joy of their hearts.”
Jewish Chronicle June 1915
Lt Abrahams’ name is listed on panel 1 of the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium, commemorating more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave.
His father, Sir Lionel, Financial Secretary to the Council of India, died the following year. One of Sir Lionel’s colleagues at The India Office, CMK, wrote in an obituary in the Jewish Chronicle 1919, “The loss of his only son in action was a blow from which he never recovered and cast an ever present shadow over his last months in which he struggled manfully against failing health.”