Date of birth: 1890
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 2885
Rank: Lance Sergeant
Regiment / Division: Rifle Brigade (The Price Consort’s Own)
Battalion: 3rd Battalion
Died: 31st July 1917 aged 26 years
Death Location: France
Life before the War
Benjamin was born in 1890 in Southampton. The birth indexes show his middle name as Staneith. His parents were Benjamin Stanley and Esther Anne, nee Maskell. His father was born 1858 and died 1912. He had siblings Julia Mary, born 1899, and Rose born 1892. Also living with the family was Leopald Maskel,l born 1877, Benjamin’s step brother.
In 1891 the family was living at 2 Houndwell Place, St. Mary’s, Southampton. Benjamin’s father was a member of the Royal Navy Reserves.
In 1901 and 1911 the family were living at Lime Street, St Mary’s, Southampton. In 1901 they were at number 15 and moved to number 19 by 1911. By this time Benjamin’s father was a General Labourer / Stevedore. His sister Julia was a Domestic Servant. There is no trace of Benjamin junior.
Benjamin enlisted in Southampton into the Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), 3rd Battalion as a Lance Sergeant, service number 2885.
He was killed in action on 31st July 1917 aged 26 in France.
He is Remembered with Honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Benjamin was entitled to the 1915 Star, General Service and Victory Medals
Historical Information about the Menin Gate
There was little significant activity on this front until 1917 when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.
The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927.
Following the Menin Gate Memorial opening in 1927 the citizens of Ypres wanted to express their gratitude towards those who had given their lives for Belgium’s freedom. As such, every evening at 20:00, buglers from the local fire brigade close the road which passes under the Memorial and sound the Last Post; except during the occupation by the Germans in World War II, when the daily ceremony was conducted at Brookwood Military Cemetery, in Surrey, England. This ceremony has been carried on uninterrupted since 2 July 1928. On the evening that Polish forces liberated Ypres in the Second World War the ceremony was resumed at the Menin Gate despite the fact that heavy fighting was still taking place in other parts of the town.