Baxenden Lads: Hambling BG

22nd April 1918

PTE. 23145 BENJAMIN GEORGE HAMBLING of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers was killed in action on April 22nd 1918 during the heavy fighting which followed a surprise German offensive in the area of the Somme in France.

Ben was twenty-two years old and a single man. He lived with his parents at 575 Pilling Terrace, Manchester Road, Baxenden. Before he enlisted Ben worked at Broad Oak Colliery, Accrington. He attended St. John’s Baxenden Church and Sunday School.

Ben had served in the front line in France for over two years, and had been engaged, unscathed, in very severe fighting. In April 1918 Ben was first reported ‘missing’ and it was not until June 1918 that his parents received confirmation of his death. His brother Charles had also been reported ‘missing’ since March 21st 1918.

Ben’s body was never found or identified, and his name is inscribed on the Pozieres Memorial. This is situated three miles north of Albert on the road to Bapaume. The Memorial commemorates 14,690 men who died on the Somme battlefields between March 21st 1918 and August 7th 1918 and have no known grave. It is in the form of a colonnaded walkway surrounding Pozieres War Cemetery. A triumphal archway forms the entrance. Ben is one of 110 Royal Welsh Fusiliers who are listed.