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charlie962

Benjamin Bee, drowned 19/11/14 Mesopotamia/Persian Gulf

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charlie962

I cannot find this man on CWGC nor SDGW. Please would someone double check ?

 

Benjamin Bee

is recorded on Soldiers Effects here and here

From this one can see he was ServiceNo 49018 Driver RFA ,attached (via the IUL) 41 Wireless Signal Squadron Service Number 21

There is a long list of next of kin Brothers, Sisters and a Neice.

He is noted as Died 18/11/14 Basra or Drowned 19/11/14 Mohammera.

 

There is a Militia Attestation on Find my Past dated December 1906 for the 3rd Leicesters, with Discharge to the Leicestershire Regiment in 1907. It lists next of kin as the same brothers and sisters as the Effects. He was aged 17yrs9mo, born St Mary's Leicester and his father was Daniel Bee of 50, Burleys Lane Leicester.

 

I find no Service papers subsequent to this. But the 1911 Census show him as a Driver with 82nd Bty RFA in India.

 

The 1914/15 Roll records his death by drowning but incorrectly notes it as Wireless Operator on a warship. His entry date is noted as 5/8/14 but without Theatre.

 

His BWM VM entitlement had to be corrected as initially he was only noted for BWM. There is a second Roll for his VM. So evidently confusion when preparing Rolls for him.

 

The War Diary of the Wireless Signal Squadron (WO95 5079/6) tells us what happened. They'd arrived on SS EGRA from Bombay and still onboard had moved up to Abadan:

18/11/1914  Orders to proceed to SS Elephanta for night and spend night there and land next morning.

19/11/1914 2.30am SS Elephanta got adrift and drifted downstream onto bows of SS Troila(?). edit  TORILLA . Wireless kits were in ships boats alongside. Boats with wireless equipment just saved by smartness of Privates Casey, Childs, Palmer, BEE and Cole. The last three named were knocked overboard and only Palmer managed to get back. Ptes BEE and COLE presumed drowned as nothing further heard of them.

 

There is a Tree on Ancestry but I note they haven't found other than the Effects records. I have sent the tree owner a message.

 

Pte Cole (James Alfred Cole, late 9757 LN Lancs Regt) is commemorated on the Basra Memorial. Pte Bee deserves equal recognition.

 

Many thanks

Charlie

 

 

Edited by charlie962

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seaJane

That's really strange. I can't find him on CWGC either, though there is an MIC.

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DavidOwen

Can't find him anywhere in that time frame or indeed at all in CWGC.

So I checked the Alias list but he isn't there either.

I agree he deserves to be remembered.

 

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Bardess

Hi Charlie

 

I think Benjamin is possibly already in the system as IFCP volunteers are going through the SER looking for non-comms. Why not PM Terry Denham as his death is noted on the Medal Rolls and in the WD

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charlie962

Thank you all for checking. I shall contact Terry Denham. My previous attempt to get a Mespot casualty remembered (Gunner Pearse, Vol Arty Bty) stalled for lack of a death certificate. Benjamin Bee seems a more clear cut oversight.

 

Charlie

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charlie962

Terry has kindly and promptly responded. Same problem as Pearse ie no Death Cert.  To help the case I attach the War Diary page and the 14/15 Star Roll page ( The latter courtesy of Ancestry).

 

I cannot find a death certificate. Can you ?

 

What is the reference on 14/15 Roll    WO 68/121/995 AG10 etc ? Is this traceable ?

 

Charlie

 

    1597630621_MespotBeeBNonCommWO9550796extract.JPG.0c771a9fd5e2b34828e2bec2627fc279.JPG

844030719_MespotBeeBNonComm191415Roll.JPG.008aaefbc47e3a33955ca20b35c717dc.JPG

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charlie962

Illustration of the size of the two ships involved:

 

1500017038_MespotBeeBNonCommSSElephantaPhoto.JPG.31d5da9739ac9584ee2861b0ac3be871.JPG1070032055_MespotBeeBNonCommSSTorillaPhoto.JPG.6868fa408eabe96e95c55d5f4eac5001.JPG

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Terry_Reeves
36 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

Terry has kindly and promptly responded. Same problem as Pearse ie no Death Cert.  To help the case I attach the War Diary page and the 14/15 Star Roll page ( The latter courtesy of Ancestry).

 

I cannot find a death certificate. Can you ?

 

What is the reference on 14/15 Roll    WO 68/121/995 AG10 etc ? Is this traceable ?

 

Charlie

 

    1597630621_MespotBeeBNonCommWO9550796extract.JPG.0c771a9fd5e2b34828e2bec2627fc279.JPG

844030719_MespotBeeBNonComm191415Roll.JPG.008aaefbc47e3a33955ca20b35c717dc.JPG

 

37 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

T

 

What is the reference on 14/15 Roll    WO 68/121/995 AG10 etc ? Is this traceable ?

 

 

 

    

 

I'm afraid it is not although AG10 was responsible for all questions regarding medals.

 

 

SAM_1512 - Version 2.JPG

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seaJane

I may be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, but has the death certificate been checked for in "Deaths at Sea"?

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charlie962
8 minutes ago, seaJane said:

"Deaths at Sea"?

I tried civil, military and overseas and general but I could have missed it. Is there a specific list of 'at sea' that wouldn't be picked up on a general search on Ancestry or FindmyPast ?

Charlie

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charlie962
37 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

I'm afraid it is not although AG10 was responsible for all questions regarding medals.

That's a shame because it is clearly the evidence required in what was clearly a catch-up exercise for someone that had been overlooked on all the Rolls.Thanks for that.

Charlie

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charlie962

His colleague who died in the same incident, James Alfred Robert Cole, is listed in GRO deaths index 1914 as follows

            BMD_OVS_ARR1_000726.jpg.ec1433e36c4f2190d31128a3facc5ced.jpg

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seaJane
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

I tried civil, military and overseas and general but I could have missed it. Is there a specific list of 'at sea' that wouldn't be picked up on a general search on Ancestry or FindmyPast ?

Charlie

Charlie, there is definitely a separate "deaths at sea" index, but I don't know whether A or FMP have it or not - still wouldn't explain why you have found his colleague listed but not him.

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charlie962

 

Cole was LNLancs, Bee was a Gunner. Both were regulars. Both were on IUL. Perhaps Gunners were just numbers in the biggest Regiment in the Army ? One can assume the same initial reports were filed by the Wireless Signal Squadron. It obviously got through to the Financial people (Effects). Cole and Bee are listed next to each other on Effects.

 

To be fair, with the destruction of 6th Divisional paperwork and imprisonment of men at Kut there was noone to properly follow up.

Edited by charlie962

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