Arthur had previously served with the South Staffordshire Regiment. He enlisted into the R.A.M.C. on 21st April 1913. He was 20 years old; was a Mill Wright by trade; and was living in Ettingshall, Staffordshire at the time.
He entered war in France on 17th August 1914, whilst attached to the Royal Engineers. At some point later he was posted to serve with the 141st Field Ambulance, and was with a party of bearers attached to the 1st Field Ambulance when, on 12th December 1916, he was severely wounded, suffering a 'GSW' to his right arm. He was evacuated back to the UK, arriving on 20th December 1916. On 24th August 1917 he was discharged 'no longer physically fit for war service' due to his wounds.