Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Peter Redfern Metcalfe
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Flint Town
Name / Enw: Bentham, John James
Regiment/Catrawd: 1/5th (Flintshire) Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private No 240660
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Jerusalem Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panels 20 to 22
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal
Date of Death: 26th March 1917
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in action on 26th March 1917 at the first Battle of Gaza, Palestine
John James Bentham was born 28th October, 1893 at 28, Feather Street, Flint and baptised 19th November, 1893 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the eldest of six children to John Bentham and Hannah (Bellis), and resided at 39, Mount Street, Flint.
John James was employed in one of the Flint mills before the war and was unmarried.
He enlisted in Flint on 28th September, 1914 and was Home based until 13th July, 1915. He embarked on HM Transport ship “Caledonia” (see Lt T Bate for photo) at Devonport 14th July, 1915 disembarking at Gallipoli 9th August, 1915. He was admitted to a hospital in Gallipoli 2nd December, 1915 suffering from exposure and reported for duty on 23rd December and was subsequently posted to Palestine. On enlistment he was 5ft 4ins, weighed 9st, chest 34½ins, and his vision and physical development were good.
He was killed in action at the First Battle of Gaza 26th March, 1917. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Jerusalem memorial on Panels 20 to 22.
He is remembered on three war memorials – Flint Town, St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, Oddfellows Hall, Flint and also his parent’s headstone at Northop Road Cemetery, Flint (Grave 8, Line 53, South Side). He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
John senior died 29th January, 1938, aged 71, at his home, 39, Mount Street, and wife Hannah died 25th November, 1924, aged 57, at Chester Infirmary. They are buried together in the Northop Road Cemetery, Flint.
John was born in Flint and for many years he was in business on his own account as a butcher in Chester Street and was afterwards employed by Messrs E J Rogers and Sons, builders, Earl Street, retiring in 1932. He was one of the oldest members of the Flint Castle Lodge of Oddfellows. He was also a keenly enthusiastic supporter of Flint Town Amateurs FC and was a familiar figure at the Club’s home matches on the Holywell Road ground. He was a member of St Mary’s Parish Church.
Hannah was born in Flint and was a sister of Flint Councillor Thomas Bond Bellis OBE (1858-1945).
Mr and Mrs Bentham received a touching letter from Private Bentham’s commanding officer which stated:- “I hardly know how to word the Company’s letter of condolence to you over the loss in action of your son. Your son was a brave and fearless soldier, and the Company, while mourning his death, is proud to be able to place on its honours list such an heroic man as your son. We all extend our sympathies and heartfelt regret, and hope that you may find some consolation in the thought that he died such a glorious death.”
LOVING MEMORY OF
JOHN & HANNAH BENTHAM
WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION
MARCH 26TH 1917, AND WAS BURIED AT
GAZA (HOLY LAND) AGED 23 YEARS
“HE HATH FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT”
ALSO THE ABOVE
WHO DIED NOV. 25TH 1924
AGED 57 YEARS
“PEACE PERFECT PEACE”
ALSO THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JAN. 29TH 1938
AGED 71 YEARS
In loving but sad 24th Birthday remembrance.
“God’s will be done,” I faintly cry,
My longing heart may break;
I deemed him mine, but he is Thine,
For He who gives can take.
Some day I hope to meet him –
Some day, I know not when;
To clasp his hand in the Better Land,
Never to part again.
(One of the best, and faithful unto death).
From Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
(County Herald 26th October, 1917)
He sleeps beside his comrades,
In a hallowed grave unknown,
But his name is written in letters of love
In the hearts he left at home.
May the heavenly winds blow softly,
O’er that sweet and hallowed spot;
Though the sea divides his grave and us,
He will never be forgot.
Fondly remembered by his Uncle, Aunt and Cousins.
Castle Hill House, Flint.
(County Herald 29th March, 1918)
“Killed in action” says the letter,
That is all the tale they tell
Of the brave, dear boy who loved us,
Of the son we loved so well;
How his life was sped we know not,
What his last word, look, or thought,
Only that he did his duty,
Died as nobly as he fought.
Sadly missed by Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.
(County Herald 28th March, 1919)
Rest on, dear one, in a soldier’s grave,
Your life for your country you nobly gave,
You fought and fell for the Red, White and Blue,
Now heaven is your home, a crown you’re due.
Ever remembered by his loving Uncle, Aunt and Cousins.
(County Herald 26th March, 1920)
Deep in my heart lies a picture,
Of my good friend gone to rest,
And in memory’s frame I shall keep him,
Because he was one of the best.
Upright and straight in all his ways.
Honest and just till the end of his days.
From his old Friend, Jim Ellis, 56, Feathers Street, Flint.
(County Herald 26th March, 1920)
You did watch for my homecoming, mother,
Now I will watch for you,
And when you reach the golden gates,
I will come and lead you through.
From Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.
(County Herald 24th March, 1921)
I remember well my sorrow when I stood beside him,
My deepest heartfelt anguish when I saw that he was dead.
From his old Pal, Jim Ellis.
(County Herald 24th March, 1922)