Private William Thomas BENNETT
 

Regiment/Service:
Lincolnshire Regiment
Unit:
4th (Reserve) Battalion
Service Number:
204542
Date of Death:
25 November 1917 - Died (Accident)
Age:
35
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
North of Church.




Personal History:


William was born in the June quarter 1882 (Christened 3rd May) at 125 Dog Hole, Burbage, Buxton. He was the son of Matthew (Joiner) and Sarah Ann (née Green) Bennett. He had three older brothers, Matthew Green [see Footnote below], Samuel and Peter, three younger brothers, Edward, Hugh Stewell and John Garrett, and an older sister, Elizabeth Ann.
Before enlisting he was employed as a 'Stone Mason'  and was living at home at 114 Macclesfield Road, Buxton (1901 Census: RG 13/3270) After the War his parents moved to Lion Cottage, Holmfield Road, Burbage, Buxton, although in 1911 (Census RG 14/21237) they were living with William's grandmother, 90 year old Elizabeth Bennett, at 8 Green Lane Burbage. However, there is no sign of William at that address. Probate Records show that he left £269 14s. 9d. (£269.74) to his mother, suggesting that William was not married. [This has a relative value of about £13,190.00 today (2014)]

Military History:
William enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Bakewell, Derbyshire. No record of his Medal Index Card has been found nor have his Service papers survived. He doesn't appear in the Medal Rolls either. His Service Number would suggest he enlisted sometime in the latter half of 1917.

The 4th (Reserve) Lincs did not serve overseas, having initially been the 3/4th Lincs. The 3/4th and 3/5th Battalions were formed at home bases on 1st June and 17th April 1915. On the 8th April 1916 they became 4th and 5th (Reserve) Battalions and on 1st September 1916 the 5th were absorbed into 4th.

It was basically the replacement and training battalion for the 1/4th and 2/4th battalions on the Western Front, which would, of course, account for the lack of a Medal Index Card, and that he died of disease, accident or illness rather than of wounds received in action.

It seems that whilst training with his Battalion at Saltfleetby St Clements, near Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, William died in an accident in which he shot himself with a rifle. He subsequently died from his wounds on the 25th November 1917. His body was brought back to Buxton and William was buried in his local Cemetery at Burbage, close to his home.

Sources:
· I am grateful to Graham David Smith for the photo of William, via Ancestry.com

Footnotes:
· William's older brother, Matthew Green Bennett, was the father of another Buxton casualty - Pt. 129012 Sydney George BENNETT - who
  was killed in action on the 8/9 October 1916 whilst serving with the Canadian Infantry.

Link to CWGC Record
Private Willaim Thomas Bennett's grave
poppy
William thomas Bennett