PRIVATE ARTHUR BRIDGE
EAST LANCASHIRE REGIMENT
4TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 30
BURIED: CEMENT HOUSE CEMETERY, LANGEMARK, BELGIUM
'God's Good Man' is the title of a novel by the best-selling Edwardian author, Marie Corelli. It's a love story between the eponymous hero, the Reverend John Walden, and the wealthy, spoilt Maryllia Vancourt - who obviously comes to see the error of her ways as the result of the love of a good man! The book was published in 1904 and 1919 was made into a film starring Basil Gill and Peggy Carlisle.
And what were the qualities of 'God's good man'?
"... he was physically sound and morally healthy, and lived, as it were, on the straight line from earth to heaven, beginning each day as if it were his first life-opportunity, and ending it soberly with prayer, as though it were his last."
On 1 December 1917, the Burnley Express reported that Mrs Bridges, "would be grateful to any soldier who could give her any tidings concerning the fate of her husband, Signaller Arthur Bridge 242113, East Lancashire Regiment. She has officially been notified that he is wounded and missing after an engagement on November 4th". The newspaper report was wrong, Bridges had gone missing on 4 October, a fact the paper corrected seven months later on 31 July 1918 in reporting that although Bridges had been left in the care of three RAMC men nothing had been heard of him and he was now presumed to have been killed on that day.