Benjamin William Adams
Private 13645 - Sherwood Foresters
Notts Derby Regiment 1st Battalion
Enlisted: Mansfield 24th Aug 1914
Killed in Action Flanders 4th Mar 1917 : Aged 28
Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 10C 10D and 11A
Private 13645 Benjamin William Adams was born Q4 1889 in Hucknall Huthwaite. Parents Q4 1883 marriage between coal miner Mr Benjamin Adams from Pinxton, Derbys, and Miss Alice Newberry from Boston, Lincs, starts their own family living in Newcastle Street with two daughters named Lily born 1884, and Sarah E 1888 before Benjamin junior presented first son.
Huthwaite 1901 census readdresses extended household in Sherwood Street, although naming all eleven children follows move into Market Street. Benjamin William is then eldest sibling still living at home, headed by Mr Benjamin Adams 51, Mrs Alice Adams 48 wife and mother to remaining single children Benjamin junior 21, Frederick 19, Alice 17, William 15, Matilda 13, Florrie 11, Maud 8, Ivy 7, and Arthur 5. Lads all followed fathers underground employment from working age 13.
Mr Benjamin William Adams wasn't readily recorded with a second name until his own Q1 1912 marriage with Miss Catherine England from Newstead. Shorter walks to his coal hewing work at Brierly Hill Colliery could be gained from their own 31 Lime Street, Sutton address, up until enlisted for military service at Mansfield on 24th August 1914.
Pte 13645 Benjamin Wm Adams joined the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment of Sherwood Foresters. Serving their 1st Battalion with role of stretcher bearer in France and Flanders battlefields on 4th March 1917 dates killed in action, aged 28.
Thiepval Memorial lists B. W. Adams among those soldier lost without graves during the Battle of the Somme. His widowed wife assured listing on the Sutton-in-Ashfield town memorial, in addition to fondly recognising Ben coming from a large family given Huthwaite Cemetery Cenotaph remembrance plus Sherwood Street Methodist Church Roll of Honour.
After being reported as missing since March 4th., 1917, official intimation has been received to presume the death from that date of Pte. Benjamin William Adams, aged 28, of 51, Lime Street, Sutton. The deceased soldier was a stretcher bearer with the 1st. Sherwoods, and enlisted on August 19th. 1914. Prior to that he was employed at the Brierley Hill Colliery.
The following letters were received by his wife:-
I now take the pleasure of answering the letter you sent me. I am very sorry that I can't give you any information of your husband, Ben. I have inquired all round the Battalion, and I had a few words with one who saw him last, and he said that the last time he saw him he was on a stretcher hit in the head, but I don't know anything else. But if I were you I should write up to the War Office and ask for particulars of him. I will keep my ears open, and if I hear anything I will let you know. I am sorry I cannot get to hear of him; he was a good chum with me.
From Cpl. Smith, G.A.
I am writing to give you what information I can about Ben in answer to your sister's letter. I will tell you all I know up to leaving him on the morning of the 4th. of March. We were both stretcher bearers together. Several of our platoon got wounded. Ben and me saw three in a shell hole, so we both began to bind them, but having no stretcher with us and them being unable to walk I lifted one fellow up and started to carry him away, leaving Ben in the shell hole looking after the other two. I was going to take a stretcher back but they kept on firing at us as I was going back and wounded the fellow I was carrying again. I put him down and he died. I saw a stretcher and was going to pick it up when I was shot through the back of the neck, and I never saw Ben after leaving him in the shell hole. One fellow says he saw him going out on a stretcher, but none of our company carried him out. I have enquired of them all. If I can get to know any more I will write and tell you. I am very sorry that I cannot find out for you where or what became of him because no doubt Ben told you me and him were great chums, and he was well liked by everybody in the company. He was always a big-hearted fellow. I know it must be very sad for you, not knowing what has come of him, but if he had been killed that day they would have found him by now, as they are miles in front of that position. I think he must have been taken away and died in some clearing station, and very likely he had nothing on him to identify him, and they have buried him as an unknown British soldier, or you would have heard from him by now. L.-Cpl. W. Mills was in another platoon and never saw him that day at all, and he is sorry he cannot give you any information.
From L.-Cpl. W. Freeman.