Arthur John Livermore (1879-1917)

Arthur was born in 1879 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.  Arthur married Eliza Maria Brown (1879-1959) in Cambridge.   They had three children: Arthur Stanley (1903-1950); Thomas Leslie (1905-1988); and Christina Hilda (1908-1954).  Arthur like Eliza’s father was a hardware dealer and in the 1911 census Eliza was listed assisting with Arthur’s business.  The family were living at 1 Campbell Street, Cambridge.  They were able to afford a live-in domestic servant.  Arthur had served in South Africa in the Boer War in the Imperial Yeomanry Bearer Company and was awarded the Freedom of the Borough on his return.  At the outbreak of the First World War he enlisted as a Corporal (473173) in the Royal Army Medical Corps, 88th (1st East Anglian) Field Ambulance.  A year after Arthur enlisted his oil and hardware business suffered a fire and it was reported in the local news.



Destructive Outbreak in Oil Merchant’s Premises.


Much excitement was caused in Mill-road yesterday (Thursday) afternoon by an outbreak of fire on the premises of Mr. A. Livermore, oil and hardware merchant.  The premises are situated just over the railway bridge, at the corner of Campbell-street.  They consist of a substantially-built shop and warehouse, with a double-storey frontage to Mill-road.  In the same block of buildings are shops occupied by Mr. Alfred Matthews, hairdresser immediately adjoining, and by Mr. H. J. Hammond, confectioner and tobacconist.  Separated by Stockwell-street is the Mill-road Baptist Church.

The outbreak of fire was discovered shortly before 4 o’clock, and the Cambridge Fire Brigade was summoned by telephone.  The Brigade at once proceeded at 3.45 to the scene of the fire, with the motor tender and fire escape.  They found the top storey of Mr. Livermore’s premises well alight, and dense volumes of smoke pouring through the roof and windows.

The smoke kept low, and the crowd which had assembled were obliged to watch the process of quenching the fire from a considerable distance.  In addition to the firemen, soldiers proffered their help, which was welcomed, and they rendered useful service in removing to a safe place furniture and goods from the premises of Mr. Matthews, next door.  These goods were placed on a lorry belonging to Mr. D. Gentle.

Meanwhile the Brigade had connected two pipes to the street hydrants, and a strong pressure of water was directed on to the fire.  The upper windows of the shop, already cracked with the heat, were soon broken in by the force of the water, and the Brigade continued to pour streams into the blazing upper storey.

The effect of the constant streams of water was to reduce in a short while the density of the smoke, and soon the firemen were able to operate from the roof and to enter the burning part of the building.  By 4.45 the fire was overcome, and it only remained for the firemen to extinguish the smouldering fo the woodwork of the roof.

The upper part of Mr. Livermore’s shop, it could be seen, was well stocked with light furniture, oil cloth, etc. Of course, the contents were practically ruined, and other parts of the premises suffered greatly from the effect of the water, which could be ssen through the lower windows to be flooding the rooms on the ground floor.

The Fire Brigade, maor Foreman Brookman, accomplished a smart piece of work in confining the blaze to the premises where the fire originated.  In fact, the fire was confined to the two rooms of the first floor, and the flames did not gain an inch after the Brigade began to work.  The adjoining shop, occupied by Mr. Matthews, was untouched by either fire or water.

We are informed that the fire was caused by the dropping of an oil stove which Mrs. Livermore was carrying from one room of the first floor to the other.

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 19 March 1915


Meanwhile, Arthur was sent out to Gallipoli with the 29th Division before travelling to Egypt and then back to France.  He was killed in action on 21 August 1917 by shell fire.  He was buried in Grave I. F. 26, Bluet Farm Cemetery, Belgium.  Arthur was commemorated on the Cambridge Guildhall War Memorial as well as on this family grave.


Well-Known Cambridge Tradesman Killed in Action.


Mrs. A. J. Livermore, of 2, Cockburn-street, has received notification of the death of her husband, Corpl. A. J. Livermore, R.A.M.C.  Corpl. Livermore who was 38 years of age (and had been in business at 176, Mill-road, as oil and hardware merchant for the past 16 years), met his death on August 21st in France by shell fire when he was doing his duty.  His lieutenant wrote to his wife that he died as he had lived, in the endeavour to succour others who were in need of help, and it is impossible for me to say how highly he was esteemed and even loved by all the men he came in contact with.  Corpl. Livermore went out to South Africa in the Boer War, and served in the Imperial Yeomanry Bearer Company, receiving the Freedom of the Borough on his return.  He joined up in the present war on September 3rd 1914, and went out to Gallipoli with the 29th Division.  He afterwards went to France from Egypt.  Mrs. Livermore wishes to thank all kind friends for their sympathy.

Cambridge Daily News, Tuesday, 4 September 1917


Livermore grave
Livermore grave



Lat Lon : 52.201783 0.13734387 – click here for location

Parish : Holy Trinity

See family grave page for more information







Census: 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911

England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915

England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915

England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966

Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920

Cambridge Independent News, Friday, 19 March 1917

Cambridge Daily News, Tuesday, 4 September 1917


By Ian Bent and Emma Easterbrook

Arthur John Livermore