Benjamin Thomas Whymark
Service Number: 200870 (formerly 3185)
Date of Birth: 1894
Regiment: 4th Bn Suffolk Regiment
Date of Death: 15 July 1916
Age at death: 22
Cemetery / Memorial: Thiepval Memorial
Grave / Reference: Pier & face 1C & 2A
Relatives: Son of Walter and Elizabeth Whymark
Address: 153 George Street, Hadleigh.
Benjamin Thomas Whymark was born in 1894 in Hadleigh. He was the son of Walther and Elizabeth (nee Moody) Whymark and the 1901 census show them living at 153 George Street. At that time Benjamin had five older siblings; William (21), Maud (19), Arthur (17), Ernest (13) and Stanley (9). By 1911, some of the older siblings had left home, but Benjamin was still at home and working as a Grocer's errand boy.
In December 1914 he enlisted with the 2/4th Suffolk territorials at Portman Road, Ipswich and was given his original regimental number 3185. He was later sent to join the 1/4th Suffolks in France in April 1915. The 1/4th Suffolks had been overseas since November 1914 and were part of the Jullundur Brigade of the 3rd Lahore (Indian) Division. It is likely that Benjamin joined the battalion as a replacement following the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.
In November 1915 the battalion was transferred to the 46 Brigade of the 15th (Scottish) Division and transferred again to the 98 Brigade of the 33 Division in February 1916.
The 33rd Division took part in the Battle of the Somme, including the opening phase, the Battle of Albert. On 14-15 July 1916 the Division was involved in the Battle for Bazentin-le-Petit. On 15 July the battalion war diary read; "15/7/16. 6am The battalion moved to support 1st Middlesex Regiment in an attack on Switch Trench. "A" and "B" Companies formed the first line and "C" and "D" Companies the second. A line immediately in front of the village of Bezantin-le -Petit was eventually taken up and held throughout the day”
Holding the line came at the expense of over 200 casualties and it was during this fight at Bazentin-le-Petit that Benjamin Whymark was killed. We are not exactly sure what happened to him, but the battlefield would have been a chaotic place and heavily cut up by shells from both sides. He was listed as missing and so his body must have been lost on the battlefield. He remembered with honour on the magnificent Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
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