BENTLEY, Herbert Leslie

No.241041, Private, Herbert Leslie BENTLEY
Aged 21

1st/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 3429, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 12th November 1917

Herbert Leslie Bentley was born in 1896 in Steeple Bumpstead (Risbridge Q3-1896 4A:730) son of James and Eliza BENTLEY (née KEMP).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Endway, Steeple Bumpstead with his father James BENTLEY [46] road labourer; mother Eliza [43];sisters Alice [14], Florry [10] and Maud [7]. All were born in Steeple Bumpstead. He had elder siblings, Louisa [1879], Ada [1889], Albert [1882] and Arthur [1884]

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm labourer, he was still at Endway with his parents and brother Edward Cecil [9] born Steeple Bumpstead. All nine siblings survive.

The pension card has his mother at Church Street, Steeple Bumpstead.

From the Roll of Honour of those who served, it appears his brother Arthur served in the Essex Regiment and survived the war.

He enlisted in Haverhill and from his number this appears to be May 1915, probably the same day as Ernest BACON.
As he died of his wounds and his Army service record has not been found it is impossible to say for sure where or when he was wounded. However the Haverhill Echo of 17th November 1917 reported that Herbert Leslie Bentley was dangerously wounded with gunshot wounds to the head, back and arms in the Gaza campaign and was in hospital in El Arish. El Arish is about 30 miles west of the Egypt-Israel border, on the Mediterranean coast. It is most likely that Herbert was initially buried there and, with his comrades, later moved to Cairo War Cemetery.
A week later the same newspaper reported that Herbert had died and that another of his brothers (unidentified) was in hospital in Alexandria

plaque in the Congregational Church

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Herbert Bentley is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, grave F:337

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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