Arthur was born on 17 May 1894, the second son of Montagu Alexis Pollard-Urquhart of Castle Pollard, County Westmeath, and his wife, Honora Elizabeth Buckley. He had two sisters, one of whom died young. His only brother was killed in India in 1915.

Arthur Matriculated in 1919. Shortly after graduating, he went to China and taught at Tsing Hua University on the outskirts of Peking. Eventually, he became Professor of English Literature there. In the 1920s, the University stood on a hundred-acre forested estate at the foot of the Western hills of Peking. Ancient Buddhist temples dotted the landscape. Arthur found the tolerant atmosphere congenial to his lifestyle.
[See “Empires of the mind”: I. A. Richards and”Basic English in China 1929-1979” By Rodney Koeneke]

He published many articles and papers in learned journals.

He died at Kunming on 16 October 1940 from blood poisoning, following injuries received in an air raid.

The Times carried Memorial notices in 1941 and 1943  “The most loyal and generous friend and above all the most beloved brother.”

Arthur left £2,618-8-2.

His surviving sister, Adah, married Humphrey Prideaux–Brune who had been a student interpreter in China before the First World War and was a Consul in China and, later, Chinese Counsellor at the British Embassy.