Captain, 11th East Lancashire Regiment.

Died 1st July 1916, age 26.

Buried in Queen’s Cemetery, Puisieux, France.

Former Student of Dentistry.



Arnold was born in 1890 at Crook, County Durham, the son of local Doctor William Robb Tough and his wife Margaret. In 1896 the family moved to Accrington in Lancashire where his mother died a year later in childbirth leaving Dr Tough with 8 children to bring up. His practise flourished and his elder son John followed him into medicine as a Doctor, while Arnold went on to study dentistry at Manchester University graduating in 1911 and returning home to set up practise in Accrington. A big man who did not suffer fools gladly he was a renowned amateur boxer and trained at Burnley Boys Club.

When war broke out in 1914 and Kitchener called for his 100,000 volunteers the Mayor of Accrington, Captain John Harwood raised one of the units, the 11th (Accrington Pals) Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. A prominent member of the local community, Arnold as an obvious candidate to serve as an officer and on 17th September 1914 he joined the battalion with the rank of Lieutenant. By late 1915 when the “Accrington Pals” left for Egypt to serve against the Turks, he had been promoted to Captain and was a popular Company Commander. After serving 3 months in Egypt the Battalion was returned to France to take part in the Battle of the Somme. On 1st July 1916 the Pals were launched into the attack on Serre. Arnold was in charge of leading the first wave. At 07.20 he blew his whistle and led “W” and “X” Companies into the attack. He advanced 100 yards into no mans land, but was wounded twice before being shot in the head and killed. In his last letter home to his sister Christina in June 1916 he Arnold wrote: “We have been more than busy & I hardly know whether I am on my head or my heels. Probably won’t be able to write for some time so don’t worry – will write as soon as possible – you’ll know why.” Lieutenant-Colonel Rickman wrote to Arnolds father: “…as our men left the front line trenches they came under a hail of machine gun and rifle fire; and an intense artillery barrage was put on our front line. Nevertheless, without the slightest hesitation, your son moved forward according to orders received from Higher Command, and the men never wavered under him, but with the utmost gallantry carried out the role allotted…”  .

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