Arthur was one of the lucky Cavalry Officers who served while the main ‘peace time’ duty was ‘caring’ for horses – and retired in 1933 before the days of mechanized cavalry.
He was gazetted to the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars on 28 May 1910, who were serving in India. By December 1914 the Regiment was, for a short time, serving in the trenches in France, and Arthur was one of the first.
In 1916 Arthur was loaned to the Royal Artillery. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1919.
After the war, he returned to the Regiment while it served at Lucknow (India), Mosul (Mesopotamia) and Cairo (Egypt).
In 1925 the Regiment was stationed at York for 3 years, where we hunted with The Middleton, York and Ainsty and Bramham, three excellent packs to whom the Regiment paid subscriptions and mainly hunted.
Arthur was always immaculately dressed and his horses perfectly ‘turned out’. This was important in those days. About this time a titled and hard riding lady, talking about a Cavalry Regiment, said of them “I could never decide whether the Officers or their horses were the dirtier!” Army officers of any branch were allowed to hire Cavalry horses “suitable for hunting” for 15/- per month (including their feed). The West Yorkshire Regimental Depot was next to the barracks and two of their officers were Captain B. L. Montgomery, who was a Northern Command staff officer and Lt Freddie de Guingand; the latter hired 15/- horses from ‘B’ Squadron. Both of them were better known in 1940 – 1945.
In 1926 Arthur won the heavyweight point to point on his horse HIDDEN TREASURE. At that time he also had a horse in training for the Grand Military. The trainer, it was said, had a very good horse also in training named KING OF CLUBS. Arthur knew it was running in the Lincoln. He saw that at “The Call over” at Tattersalls, it was quoted at 1000 – 1. The horse won, Arthur had a satisfactory bet, at less than 1000 – I. It ran again 3 weeks later, again Arthur won his bet at 10 – 1, although he was NOT a betting man! Some months later, he received a letter from the bookie saying “He was disappointed that he had received no further bets from the Major.”
In 1933 the Regiment was due for overseas service in Egypt, so Arthur retired. Then for some years, he was breeding adviser to Miss Yule’s thoroughbred establishment.
In 1939, when war was declared, Arthur was at Hollywood in America. He found he couldn’t obtain a passage home and worse, money could not be sent to him from the UK. He managed to get a temporary military job with the Canadian Air Force, but this ended – so he returned to Hollywood and earned his keep as an actor, until the end of the war.
Arthur’s ‘B’ Squadron was always happy with his careful and considerate administration His SSM was Billy Magan, a quiet-spoken and much-respected horseman, who worked perfectly with Arthur.
His home life, with his wife Evelyn and his 3 sons, was very happy for the same reason. His eldest son, Denis, was the parish priest and officiated at the funeral – giving an excellent oration.
(This obituary was written by an old contemporary of Major Mulliner – Colonel T.R.A. Evans-Lombe, OBE of Hove, Sussex)