Arthur Benson


Driver 1460, Royal Field Artillery

Died 26th July 1916 aged 27

Buried Mesnil Community Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Husband of Gladys Benson

Lived 14, Kilpin Hill, Heckmondwike

Arthur was born 31st March 1889 and was the second son and fifth child of William Benson and Sarah Ann nee Proctor. In 1881 the family were living in Battye Street, Heckmondwike but had moved to Beckett Nook in Dewsbury by 1891. William Benson died in 1894, but Sarah Ann stayed in Dewsbury until she died in 1907. Also during this period, his elder brother Oliver and his elder sister Annie died.

After their parents died, his surviving sisters Alice and Etty married. Arthur and his youngest brother Fred were living with their sister Alice and her husband, Norman Scargill, at 14, Kilpin Hill in 1911. Fred is also commemorated in the Heckmondwike Memorial book but he survived the war. Etty (Ettie) had married James Edward Wood in 1906.

Arthur worked for Messrs Pyrah & Mitchell of Providence Mills Liversedge. He played football with Dewsbury Anroyd FC.

Arthur had been in the Heckmondwike Volunteer Corps before the outbeak of war and volunteered as soon as war was declared. He enlisted in Heckmondwike in August 1914 in the Royal Field Artillery where he was a Driver.

He was on leave for a week at the beginning of June in 1916 and married Gladys Annie Holroyd at St. John’s Church, Dewsbury on 5th June 1916. His best man was Gunner Ernest Whittaker with whom he was serving in France who wrote the letter telling his family of his death.

Seven weeks later, he died of the effects of poisonous gas dropped on his trench on 26th July 1916 during the Somme offensive. He is buried in Mesnil Community Cemetery Extension section 3 D 7.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

Arthur’s name is also commemorated on St James’s and St Saviour’s War Memorials.{MA-017}

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