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  • Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
Person Details
Huthwaite Nottinghamshire
He was the son of Benjamin and Alice Adams and the brother of Frederick, Alice, William, Matilda, Maud, Ivy and Arthur Adams. In 1911 they lived on the Market Place Huthwaite.
He was a miner.
04 Mar 1917
27
772650 - CWGC Website
13645
Private
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Benjamin William Adams entered theatre (France) on 18 May 1915. He joined the 1st Battalion which had suffered 359 casualties on 9th May in the Battle of Aubers Ridge. At 5.15 am on 4th March 1917 the battalion attacked the ridge south of St Pierre Vaast Wood, Somme and immediately came under enemy artillery fire and one platoon lost nine mento one shell. They entered the enemy front line and desperate hand to hand fighting to place. Enemy strong points made the operation more difficult and a number of men became casualties during clearance. Enemy dug outs had to be entered and cleared and again this took its toll on the men. In some cases senior private soldiers led men when NCO's had become casualties. By 6.15 am, all the objectives had been taken and held despite enemy counter attacks. The intense pre-attack training and the successful taking of all the objectives had been at the cost of 35 killed and 67 wounded. Benjamin was one of the dead and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme (Pier and Face 10C 10D and 11A).
Following extracts from Notts. Free Press 1st. March, 1918. After being reported as missing since March 4th., 1917, official intimation has been received to presume the death from that date of Pte. Benjamin William Adams, aged 28, of 51, Lime Street, Sutton. The deceased soldier was a stretcher bearer with the 1st. Sherwoods, and enlisted on August 19th. 1914. Prior to that he was employed at the Brierley Hill Colliery. The following letters were received by his wife:- "I now take the pleasure of answering the letter you sent me. I am very sorry that I can't give you any information of your husband, Ben. I have inquired all round the Battalion, and I had a few words with one who saw him last, and he said that the last time he saw him he was on a stretcher hit in the head, but I don't know anything else. But if I were you I should write up to the War Office and ask for particulars of him. I will keep my ears open, and if I hear anything I will let you know. I am sorry I cannot get to hear of him; he was a good chum with me." From Cpl. Smith, G.A. "I am writing to give you what information I can about Ben in answer to your sister's letter. I will tell you all I know up to leaving him on the morning of the 4th. of March. We were both stretcher bearers together. Several of our platoon got wounded. Ben and me saw three in a shell hole, so we both began to bind them, but having no stretcher with us and them being unable to walk I lifted one fellow up and started to carry him away, leaving Ben in the shell hole looking after the other two. I was going to take a stretcher back but they kept on firing at us as I was going back and wounded the fellow I was carrying again. I put him down and he died. I saw a stretcher and was going to pick it up when I was shot through the back of the neck, and I never saw Ben after leaving him in the shell hole. One fellow says he saw him going out on a stretcher, but none of our company carried him out. I have enquired of them all. If I can get to know any more I will write and tell you. I am very sorry that I cannot find out for you where or what became of him because no doubt Ben told you me and him were great chums, and he was well liked by everybody in the company. He was always a big-hearted fellow. I know it must be very sad for you, not knowing what has come of him, but if he had been killed that day they would have found him by now, as they are miles in front of that position. I think he must have been taken away and died in some clearing station, and very likely he had nothing on him to identify him, and they have buried him as an unknown British soldier, or you would have heard from him by now. L.-Cpl. W. Mills was in another platoon and never saw him that day at all, and he is sorry he cannot give you any information." From L.-Cpl. W. Freeman.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
    Benjamin William Adams - Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
  • Name commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. Photograph John Morse
    Benjamin William Adams - Name commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. Photograph John Morse