Killed in a railway accident [Service Record]
A letter, dated 9 January 1919, is retained on file, written by Helen
Wellesley Pigott - wife of Lt Col Wellesley Pigott , Rifle Brigade - of
Blackmore House, nr Brentwood, Essex.
"To the Officer Com of 143rd Labour Coy, 42nd Division, B.E.F.
Forgive me troubling you but would you kindly inform me whether the
death of 85258 Pte Arthur F Benton of the above Coy on 6th September
1917 was due to any misconduct or serious negligence on his part or
not, as the Ministry of Pensions have declined to give his poor widowed
old mother any pension or grant or giving the above quotation as
their ... . She holds letters from Capt Ellis, Lt P Parsons &
Lt Corp Holland stating it was a pure accident & testifying to his
excellence as a soldier etc & as I had known Pte Benton for over 20
years ... once that he was the last man to do anything ... for he
was most obedient ... & tractable. I have placed the
matter in the hands of ... Bottomley M.P. (John Bull) but if you would
inform me as to the nature of the accident I should be greatly obliged
as Capt Ellis states "He was ... on a truck ... train ...
with a shudder ... threw him backwards onto the .... Death was
instantaneous" - I believing supposing he was not sitting inside
the truck, it might be termed "carelessness" not "serious misconduct".
I am yrs truly
Helen Wellesley Pigott (Mrs)
Wife of Lt Col Wellesley Pigott
His mother later received a plaque and scroll in commemoration (December 1919)
Personal and family
Arthur Frederick Benton Born 7th October 1883
Baptised: 11th November 1883, Doddinghurst [ERO D/P 112/1/5 #117]
Son of Charles & Rachel Sophia Benton of Doddinghurst [CWGC].
Charles Benton. Head. [Age] 37. [Occupation] Agricultural Labourer. Born. Kelvedon
Rachel Benton. Wife. [Age]
Charles Benton. Son. [Age] 15. [Occupation] Agricultural Labourer. Born Doddinghurst
George Benton. Son. [Age] 13. [Occupation] Agricultural Labourer. Born Doddinghurst
Mary A Benton. Daughter. [Age] 12. [Occupation] Scholar. Born Doddinghurst
William Benton. Son. [Age] 9. [Occupation] Scholar. Born Doddinghurst
Arthur F Benton. Son. [Age] 7.
Annie Benton. Daughter. [Age] 5.
Harry Benton. Son [Age] 5mos.