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Fred BENSON

Main CPGW Record

Surname: BENSON

Forename(s): Fred

Place of Birth: Cowling, Yorkshire

Service No: 13694

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 10th (Service) Battalion

Division: 23rd Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1916-07-11

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 A and 6 B.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: COWLING, YORKSHIRE

Local War Memorial: ICKORNSHAW, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Fred Benson was the son of William and Ann Benson, née Thompson. William was born at Cowling and Ann at Grassington, Yorkshire.

1891 Cowling, Yorkshire Census: Ickornshaw - Fred Benson, aged 1 month, born Cowling, son of William and Ann Benson.

1901 Cowling, Yorkshire Census: Keighley Road - Fred Benson, aged 10 years, born Cowling, son of William and Ann Benson.

1911 Cowling, Yorkshire Census: Gragg View - Fred Benson, aged 20 years, born Cowling, son of Ann Benson, widow.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Fred Benson, 13694, West Riding Regiment. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 26 August 1915.

A short biography of Fred is included in: ‘Missing But Not Forgotten - Men of the Thiepval Memorial Somme’ by Pam & Ken Linge (2015).

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

BENSON, Fred, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, only son of Mrs. Wm. Benson, 199 Crag View, [Cowling], killed in action in France, July 11, 1916.

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Private Fred BENSON

Private Fred BENSON

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 23rd Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 23rd Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BENSON

Forename(s): Fred

Born: Cowling, Yorks

Residence:

Enlisted: Cowling

Number: 13694

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 10th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 11/07/16

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BENSON

Forename(s): Fred

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 13694

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 10th Bn.

Age:

Awards:

Died Date: 11/07/1916

Additional Information:

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Miscellaneous Information

10th (Service) Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

BATTLE OF THE SOMME, 1916

Fred Benson was involved in the attack and capture of Contalmaison on 10th July 1916 and probably killed during relief and subsequent movement to positions north - west of Albert on 11th July 1916.

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Additional Photo(s) For Soldier Records

Private Fred Benson

Private Fred Benson

Courtesy of Rev. Robert D. Carter (Formerly vicar of Holy Trinity, Cowling)

Unknown platoon of 'A' Company, 10th (Service) Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), Aldershot, 1914

Unknown platoon of 'A' Company, 10th (Service) Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), Aldershot, 1914

Photograph sent home to his parents at Bolton by Bowland by Pte Henry (Harry) Valance Killeen (13738). Henry is standing, with his hands behind his back, 11th from right. His brother, Pte Reginald Victor Whiteley Killeen (q.v.), was killed in action on the 25 January 1916

Courtesy of Paula Ann Payne (née Bailey), Barnoldswick

'A' Company, 10th (Service) Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), Bramshott, August, 1915

'A' Company, 10th (Service) Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), Bramshott, August, 1915

Courtesy of Bernard Ideson

Names of identified officers and other ranks on above photograph

Names of identified officers and other ranks on above photograph

View Craven Herald Articles

View Craven Herald Articles

Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

28 July 1916

BENSON - Killed in action in France, July 11th. Pte. Fred Benson, 10th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, only son of Mrs. Wm. Benson, Crag View, Cowling.

28 July 1916

COWLING SOLDIER'S HEROIC FATE

Last week Mrs. Benson of Crag View, Cowling, received a private letter from Quartermaster Sergeant Frank Stephenson, informing her that her only son, Pte. Fred Benson, of the 10th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, had been killed in action on Tuesday, July 11th in the great offensive in France.

Another Cowling man, Corp. John Hartley, has since forwarded to Mrs. Benson full details in the following letter:- "Dear Mrs. Benson, - I have a sorrowful duty to discharge, to give you details of the circumstances under which your son met his death. On Monday afternoon a part of our brigade attacked a village for which there had previously been heavy fighting by other brigades. We were in support, and as dusk fell we moved out through a heavy barrage of fire to reinforce and to consolidate the position.

"That night and next day passed quietly. During the evening Fred and another lad went on listening post duty a little in front of the trench where we had dug ourselves in. A little later they gave the alarm and turned round to get back into the trench, but before they had gone a yard they were both hit by the Germans. A small enemy patrol had crept up within a short distance unobserved till quite close. Both staggered back somehow into the trench. A minute or two later when the alarm was over, I and two others got them out and did what we could, but it was to no avail, for he must have been bleeding internally. He was in some pain for a minute or two during which he said four times "Take me", he then drifted into unconsciousness and a few minutes later passed quietly and gently away. He was hit in the back just above the left hipbone and the bullet passed through and out at the right groin. I was supporting his head when he died.

"We were relieved a few minutes later and had reluctantly to leave him there with his waterproof sheet over him. We went to get a stretcher to carry him out, but none were available. He will probably have been buried by now by the salvage Corp. We were all so upset. All the boys in the platoon wish me to convey to you their sincere sympathy in your loss, which is also in a less degree ours, for he was a cheerful, willing comrade. We shall all miss him very much. He was in great spirits, as were we all because of our successes of the past few days. We were all much affected by his and the other chap's death.

"Again, assuring you of our sincere sympathy. Yours in sorrow, John Hartley."

Pte. Benson enlisted in Kitchener's Army along with 17 other Cowling young men in August 1914, and after the usual period of training went to France in September. Before enlisting, Pte. Benson was employed as a weaver at Messrs. J. Binns & Sons, Ltd., Carr Mills.

A memorial service was held at the United Methodist Church on Sunday morning, and was conducted by the Rev. C. E. Penrose, pastor, Pte. Benson, having passed through the Sunday School as a scholar. The choir sang the anthem 'The Homeland' and Miss Whitaker, the organist, played Beethoven's 'Funeral March' and 'O rest in the Lord.' A memorial service was also held at the Parish Church, conducted by the Vicar. A similar service was held on Sunday evening at the Ickornshaw Wesleyan Church, conducted by Mr. Ward, of Nelson.

13 October 1916

COWLING GIRL'S DISAPPEARANCE - PARTIES SEARCH THE MOORS

A young lady, named Adelaide Benson, aged 28, of 199, Keighley road, Cowling, has disappeared from her home and has been missing since Sunday. It is stated that she had been rather depressed lately, especially since the news of her brother's death in action was received in July.

On Sunday morning she asked her mother to go with her to see some friends at Farnhill. The mother did not feel inclined to go and asked her daughter to call for her companion and take a walk with her. The young lady did not go for her companion, but was seen near the Crag. Search parties on Tuesday were scouring the district. The young lady has rather a fair complexion, and was wearing a white wool wrap round her head and a brown raincoat. Enquiries have been made both at Farnhill and Haworth, where relatives of the girl reside, but without any news being obtained. On Tuesday, although the weather was so extremely wild, ten men from the village scoured the moors and various places in the district, but without result.

Miss Benson was a well respected young lady, and naturally her relatives and friends are most anxious to learn of her whereabouts. For some time she has suffered from insomnia. The police have now the matter in hand.

Up to a late hour last night nothing had been heard of the missing young woman.

STOP PRESS - THE COWLING MYSTERY

Early this morning as the result of dragging operations by the police, the body of Miss Adelaide Benson, the Cowling young lady who has been missing since Sunday last, was found in the reservoir connected with Malsis Hall, near Cowling Cragg.

[The above article refers to the sister of Pte. Fred Benson, killed in action 11th July 1916.]

20 October 1916

BENSON - October 13th, found drowned, Adelaide Benson, Cowling, aged 29 years

20 October 1916

THE COWLING MYSTERY - SUICIDE BY DROWNING

An inquiry as to the cause of death of Adelaide Benson, aged 28, a highly respected single young lady who resided with her widowed mother at 199, Keighley Road, Cowling,was held on Saturday last at the Liberal Club, by Mr. J.E. Newall, the deputy coroner. The jury were Messrs. S. Hutchinson (foreman), J. Fort, F. Shuttleworth, A. Brigg, J. Harker, H. Smith, A. Shuttleworth, J. Smith, B. Driver, H. Binns, E. Snowden, and W. Thornton.

Mrs. Ann Benson, the mother, gave evidence of identification, and said her daughter was 29 years old that day. About a month ago she had complained about not feeling well, and had consulted a local doctor. Answering the Coroner, she said that her daughter had been all right up to the death of her brother who had been killed in France. She had taken this very much to heart, and would talk about very little else, and had become very much depressed. There was nothing else to cause her any trouble, and she had never threatened herself in anyway. She arose as usual on Sunday morning and seemed her usual self. She advised her to go for a walk and last saw her alive about 9-30.

Herbert Pickles, farmer, Crag End, Sutton, stated that he saw deceased on Sunday about 11-15 a.m. go through the New Gate and on the Crag Bottom down past the Brush Farm, which was in the direction of the Malsis Hall reservoir and which would be about a quarter of a mile away.

Wm. Kirkpatrick, estate foreman on the Malsis Hall Estate, said that on the previous Tuesday morning the police told him that the deceased might possibly be in the reservoir, and at their request he let the reservoir off on Wednesday night at 7-30. When full it was 14 feet deep and took 36 hours to empty. In answer to the Coroner he said he went up several times to see how the water was going down. He expected it to be empty by Friday morning, and going there about 6 o'clock he found the body in the bottom, about one yard from the bottom of the slope, near where the water runs out. The body was recovered.

P.C. Lister said he was officially informed that the girl was missing on Tuesday morning. Before that time parties of villagers has searched the moors and fields. On Tuesday they dragged the reservoir and afterwards asked the last witness to let off the water. He also gave evidence of the conveyance of the body home.

Dr. Alex. Curry, of Crosshills, said he had seen the body. There were no marks of violence. She had met her death by drowning.

The jury were unanimous in the verdict, "Suicide by drowning, whilst temporary insane, brought about by grief at the loss of her brother in the war."

The jury expressed their sympathy with Mrs. Benson, and along with witnesses granted their fees, along with a subscription from the Coroner, to Mrs. Benson.

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28 July 1916

BENSON - July 11th, in action in France, Pte. Fred Benson, only son of Mrs. W. Benson, of 199 Crag View, Cowling.

28 July 1916

A COWLING MAN'S DEATH

Last week Mrs. Wm. Benson of 199 Crag View, Cowling, received a private letter from Quarter-Master Sergeant Frank Stephenson, informing her that her only son, Pte. Fred Benson, of the 10th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, had been killed in action on Tuesday, July 11th. Another Cowling man, Corp. John Hartley, has since forwarded to Mrs. Benson full details in the following letter:- "Dear Mrs. Benson, I have a sorrowful duty to discharge, to give you details of the circumstances under which your son met his death. On Monday afternoon a part of our brigade attacked a village for which there had previously been heavy fighting by other brigades. We were in support, and as dusk fell we moved out through a heavy barrage of fire to reinforce and to consolidate the position. That night and next day passed quietly. During the evening Fred and another lad went on 'listening post' duty a little in front of the trench where we had dug ourselves in. A little later they gave the alarm and turned round to get back into the trench, but before they had gone a yard they were both hit by the Germans. A small enemy patrol had crept up within a short distance unobserved till quite close. Both staggered back somehow into the trench. A minute or two later when the alarm was over, I and two others got them out and did what we could, but it was to no avail, for he must have been bleeding internally. He was in some pain for a minute or two during which he said four times "Take me", he then drifted into unconsciousness and a few minutes later passed quietly and gently away. He was hit in the back just above the left hipbone and the bullet passed through and out at the right groin. I was supporting his head when he died. We were relieved a few minutes later and had reluctantly to leave him there with his waterproof sheet over him. We went to get a stretcher to carry him out, but none were available. He will probably have been buried by now by the salvage corps. We were all so upset that none of us thought to take charge of his effects. All the boys in the platoon wish me to convey to you their sincere sympathy in your loss, which is also in a less degree ours, for he was a cheerful, willing comrade. We shall all miss him very much. He was in great spirits, as were we all because of our successes of the past few days. We were all much affected by his and the other chap's death. Again, assuring you of our sincere sympathy. - Yours in sorrow, John Hartley."

Pte. Benson enlisted in Kitchener's Army along with 17 other Cowling young men in August 1914, and after the usual period of training went to France in September. Before enlisting, Pte. Benson was employed as a weaver at Messrs. J. Binns & Sons, Ltd., Carr Mills.

A memorial service was held at the United Methodist Church on Sunday morning, and was conducted by Rev. C.E. Penrose, pastor. Pte. Benson having passed through the Sunday-school as a scholar. The choir rendered the anthem 'The Homeland'(Sullivan), and Miss Whitaker, the organist, played Beethoven's 'Funeral March' and 'O rest in the Lord.' Memorial services were also held at the Parish Church, conducted by the Vicar, and at the Ickornshaw Wesleyan Church.

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