Date of birth: 5th January 1889
Parents: Joseph and Elizabeth Bench
Address: 5 North Rock, Saltisford
Occupation: Career Soldier
Ernest was one of seven children born to Joseph and Elizabeth Bench in the Saltisford area of Warwick – 6 boys and 1 girl. Their father died in 1905.
There were four brothers from the Bench family who were killed in World War I – the largest loss for any family in Warwick.
Robert Bristow writes:
‘Sometime after the 1911 census, Eliza moved to 93 Broad Street, Coventry, and it was there that she received the terrible news of the deaths of her four sons, three of them within seven months of each other in 1917.
She was invited to the Dedication of The War Memorial, Coventry on the 8th October, 1927, attended by Earl Haig, the Mayor of Coventry and the Bishop of Coventry. It is not known whether any representatives from Warwick were present.
Eliza was only allocated one ticket, despite her great loss, her surviving son Arthur was therefore not able to attend the service.
Eliza died in 1939, aged 81.’
Rank & Number: Sergeant, 950
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Brigade/Division: 22nd Brigade, 7th Division
Date of death: Saturday, September 25, 1915
Cause of death/Battle: Killed in Action - Battle of Loos
Commemorated/Buried: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Pas de Calais
Awards: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at:
- Robert Bristow – Committee Member, Heart of England Branch, Western Front Association
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group
- Memorial photograph courtesy of David Oliver