Bishop visits Tilshead

Tilshead welcomed Bishop Edward to a service of Holy Communion in St Thomas à Becket Church in the early evening of Sunday 16th November.

This ended a very busy day for the Bishop having taken services in Chitterne and Orcheston followed by a very enjoyable Benefice Lunch in Orcheston Village Hall. Among those from Tilshead who attended were Michael and Sue Teale, Tanis Painter and Vix Mackay and her two small sons.

Bishop’s visit

Bishop Ed Condry spent last Sunday as a guest of the Salisbury Plain Benefice. As well as conducting three services he was also able to join the Benefice for lunch, held in Orcheston village hall. The lunch was a great deal of fun for the fifty guests, with members of each of the four congregations in attendance but there was also a serious purpose. Bishop Ed formally launched the Salisbury Plain Benefice website, a valuable portal for news, mission, services and events in the Benefice.

Donations made by the lunch guests will all go to the Diocese’s South Sudan Appeal.

1914-2014, Douglas Benham

Douglas Kirkpatrick Benham, buried in St Mary’s Orcheston

On 16the November the congregation and members of the British Legion gathered with the Rector, the Revd Eleanor Rance, and our area bishop, Bishop Edward Condry, for a brief commemoration of Douglas Kirkpatrick Benham, who lies is buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s, Orcheston under a most distinctive headstone. His name also appears on the Old Manorians’ memorial, in Clapham south London.

He was the son of John, 1830-1899, and Mary Sophia Benham, 1838-1906, being born 14 August 1880 at Clapham.

He may have attended University College School in Hastings as a boarder, as his two brothers did. He certainly attended the University of London and its War List shows him as having matriculated but it is not known what subject he took. Apparently he left before taking his exams

Douglas arrived in Canada on 4 May 1912 on the ship Laurentic and later resided in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He enlisted as a private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 23 September 23, 1914, at Valcartier, Québec, in either the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), 16th Battalion, or the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada (it is variously stated). His service number was 28958 and he his attestation papers give his trade as ‘gentleman’ and his next of kin as ‘L A Benham.’ He was described as being 6ft tall, chest 38in, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair, and of the Church of England.

He died of heart failure at West Down South Camp, on Salisbury Plain on either 15 or 16 November 1914 (again, it is variously given), aged 34. His father had predeceased him.

In his will he left £4750 0s 2d (£470,000 in 2013 terms) to Stanley John Benham, gentleman, his brother.

Anne Gretton, Douglas Kirkpatrick Benham’s great-niece, wrote: ‘Douglas Kirkpatrick Benham was born in 1880, sixth and youngest child of John Benham, manufacturing ironmonger of Benham & Sons, Wigmore Street, London W1, and Mary Sophia nee Davis. The family lived at Lymington House, Loats Road, Clapham. They were a non-conformist family who were very involved with the Baptist Chapel in Bloomsbury but later worshipped in the Congregational Church in Clapham.

He was still living at home in the 1901 Census, described as an articled account clerk. We heard stories of him throwing all his letters overboard while crossing the Atlantic! In the 1911 Census, I have found him in Vancouver lodging with a family. He must have joined the Canadian Army shortly after that.

I was told that he was the black sheep of the family as he appears to have drifted and not matched up to his clever, cultured and high-achieving siblings. I have one photo of him in a family group photo in 1890 on the steps of Lymington House, probably his parents’ silver wedding. He looked rather a sweet little boy of 10.’

1914-2014, William Ogden

William Ogden Corporal William Ogden, armourer, 21506, Canadian Infantry, 7th Battalion (British Columbia Regiment).

Born 13 April 1871 at Middleton, Manchester. Married to Edith Ogden, and on his death she was living at 10 Wood Hill, Middleton, Manchester.

He was described as ‘of Saskatoon’ and was active in the Saskatoon Fusiliers.

He enlisted on the outbreak of the war on 23 September 1914 at Camp Valcartier, MRC de la Jacques-Cartier, Québec, occupation plumber.

He died in an accident on Sunday 25 October 1914, aged 49, at Pond Farm Camp, Salisbury Plains. Ogden was working at repairing rifles in a marquee tent when a live round discharged (all shells were supposed to be dummies). He was shot in the back and died that evening of his injuries.

It was reported: ‘Mr Trethowan held another inquest on a Canadian soldier on Wednesday, at West Down Camp Hospital. On this occasion the inquiry was concerned with the death of William Ogden, Armourer-Corporal in the 11th Battalion, 4th Brigade, Canadian Forces, now stationed at Pond Farm Camp, Urchfont, who died as the result of a gun-shot wound inflicted on Sunday.’ The inquest in Salisbury was held on 30 October 1914, his death being described as ‘in Tilshead, Accidentally Shot.’

Samuel Matthews, of Manchester, a plumber, gave evidence of identification and said that Ogden was 43 [he is elsewhere described as aged 49] years of age and came from Saskatoon. Godfrey Sandys Wanach, Armourer-Sergeant, in Ogden’s battery, said that on Sunday at about 10.45 he heard someone call for an ambulance, and on going to the armourer’s tent he found Ogden lying on the ground and receiving medical attention. From enquiries he gathered that Ogden had been accidentally shot with a rifle, and he found the breech had not been opened since the shot was fired. There was a cartridge shell in the magazine, and the rifle was slightly warm. In the magazine were three dummy cartridges which were kept for testing purposes. Ogden told him the previous day that he picked up a live cartridge in the tent, but live cartridges were carefully guarded. Ogden and Private Wilson who was with him, were on excellent terms. He thought Ogden by mistake inserted the live cartridge in the rifle. Gavin Wilson, a private in the same battery, said he was working with Ogden who was testing the rifle which witness generally used. A cartridge had “jammed” and Ogden handed it to him to see to. He took out one cartridge, and started to take out the rest, and in doing so he pulled the trigger. The rifle was in the rest at the time. The second shot exploded and Ogden, who was two yards off repairing another rifle, fell to the ground.

Lieutenant Colonel Dulmage said Ogden told him in hospital it was entirely an accident, and that he did not know how the ball cartridge got mixed with the others, but that he found one in the tent the previous day. He put it in his pocket intending to hand it to the Armourer-Sergeant. Lieutenant Colonel Wallace Scott, of the Canadian Army Medical Corps, said that the bullet entered the right side of Ogden’s back, and came out of the left part of the abdomen, inflicting a very serious wound. He got gradually worse and died at 11 o’clock the same night from shock and haemorrhage.

The Coroner said he thought the jury would be satisfied that no blame was attached to Wilson in the matter, and the jury, in returning a verdict of “Accidental Death,” agreed.

William lies buried in Orcheston St Mary churchyard, his grave marked by a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.