William John Bench

Surname: Bench
Other names: William John
Other people in this story:
William John Bench
Elizabeth Ann Bench née Belbin
John Belbin
Locations in this story:
Sixpenny Handley, Dorset
Alvediston, Wiltshire
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery, Gibralter
Alcester, Shaftesbury

William John Bench was born in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, on 10th June 1882 and was baptised at Alvediston, Wiltshire, on 19th November 1882, the son of William John Bench and Elizabeth Ann Bench (nee Belbin).  He spent much of his early life in and around Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire with his mother, as his father had died in 1886.  His mother remarried and William lived for a time with his step-father but eventually joined the Royal Navy on 10th June 1899 (Service No. 192728). He served in many ships and establishments throughout his service and achieved the rank of Petty Officer.  He died whilst still serving on HMS Cormorant at the Royal Naval Hospital, Gibraltar, on 24th February 1920.  He was buried at the Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery (Grave Ref: E. 4678) as recorded on the War Graves Commission site. He had been awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star. 

William's mother had died in the Public Institution, Alcester, Shaftesbury, Dorset, (Previously the Workhouse) in 1913.  His Electoral Registration in 1918 was 63 High Street, Shaftesbury, the home of her brother, John Belbin. He remained single throughout his life.


Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Commonwealth War Graves Commission