Nunney Remembers 2

Private Arthur Bennett
Private Arthur Bennett

On Thursday 3 September a short act of remembrance was held for two men from Nunney who died in September on the frontline during the First World War.

Similiar acts of remembrance are held regularly in Nunney to mark the centenary of the war. Nunney Remembers events are held as closely as possible to the actual date on which any of the men – all ordinary lads fighting for our community, all someone’s son, husband or sweetheart – were killed.

With thanks to Steve Thomas we provide the following information on the two men remembered this time:

Arthur Bennett

Private Arthur Bennett
Private Arthur Bennett
Private 6244 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment
Killed in action Flanders 2 September 1915
Buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium (grave ref. III.F.8)

Arthur was the adopted son of Mr & Mrs William Charlton, of Ridgeway. He had been in the army with the Wiltshire Regiment for 12 years, and was looking forward to retiring and getting married. He was a former student at the Nunney Evening Continuation School.

He was with the British Expeditionary Force. There had been heavy artillery firing. Arthur had retired for a rest in a dugout. Shortly he arrived, the dugout was blown up and Arthur was killed instantly.

Hooge Crater Cemetery
Private Arthur Bennett was buried at Hooge Crater War Cemetery in Ieper, Belgium
Hooge Chateau and its stables were the scene of very fierce fighting throughout the First World War. On 31 October 1914 the staff of the 1st and 2nd Divisions were wiped out when the chateau was shelled. From 24 May to 3 June 1915, the chateau was defened against German attacks.

In June 1915 the crater was made by a mine sprung by the 3rd Division. On 30 July the Germans took the chateau, but on 9 August it and the crater were regained by the 6th Division. The chateau was completely destroyed during the fighting along with the entire village.

James Robert Parsons

Menin Gate, Ieper, Belgium
Menin Gate, Ieper, Belgium
Private 17400. 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry
Killed in action 3 September 1915
Commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial, Ieper, Belgium

James was born in Frome. He was the son of Mr & Mrs Henry Parsons of Holwell, Nunney. He was married but had no children, an old army man prior to war breaking out, having served 16 years in the 1st Somerset Light Infantry, eight years with the colours, and eight with the Reserves.

In March 1915, James volunteered for active service and joined the 6th Somerset’s. He had only been seventeen days at the front line when he met his death.

In a letter Corporal E. Jones, of the 1st Company 6th Somerset’s, said, “I think it my place to write to you on behalf of your beloved husband, who was in my section.”

“I am sorry to have to inform you that he was killed on Friday monring, 3rd September, and I may say we put him to rest in peace respectfully.”

“I am very sorry to lose him, and the other men were also, as he was respected by all here. It is very hard luck on your part and his, as he was the only one we lost while up in the firing line.”