“If you think, have a kindly thought, If you speak, speak generously, Of those who as heroes fought And died to keep you free”
Set up by the Black Country Society. Our aim is to highlight local men who died in the Great War and how they have been commemorated on war memorials. Its scope covers the whole of the present Dudley Municipal Borough and therefore includes the places which have come within its bounds since 1914.
There are over fifty memorials and the number of names exceeds three thousand. Research on the names has been extensive but inevitably errors and omissions occur. We would like to hear about them concentrated on life and work before 1914, involvement in military campaigns and where each man is buried or commemorated.
Sidney Benbow lived in Trindle Road, Dudley, and volunteered for the Worcesters. He was sent to the 10th (Service) Battalion and was promoted to Lance Corporal. At some point in his service, and probably after active service with the 10th, he was commissioned to the 2nd Battalion. This battalion was notable for its involvement in difficult conditions. It fought through the 1916 battle of the Somme and the 1917 struggle for Arras on the front facing the German outposts of the Hindenburg Line. Typical was the action of Croisilles starting on the 20th May. The village was captured and held in several days of hard fighting. In September 1917 the battalion entered the Third Battle of Ypres, advancing at dawn on the 26th September along the Menin Road and taking many casualties in a hard fought battle. They suffered heavily in the 1918 German Spring offensives and then required rebuilding and retraining in the summer. However, the Advance to Victory commenced in August and one of the greatest achievements the Worcesters took part in was the capture of the St. Quentin Canal and the breaking of the Hindenburg Line on the 29th September. 2/Lt Sidney Benbow's unit met fierce opposition on the high ground overlooking the Canal and he was one of many fatal casualties. He is buried in Pigeon Ravine Cemetery (I A 3) and commemorated on the Dudley, St. John's, Kates Hill, Dudley, and the Dudley Conservative Club Memorials.Search our Biographies