Rank: Private
Number: 57272
Unit: 2nd Garrison Battalion NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 10 October 1918
Age: 33
Cemetery: Basra War Cemetery, Itaq

Herbert was one of three brothers who went to War and didn’t live to see the peace for which they had fought. John Bennett died of wounds he’d received in 1916 and is buried in Stockport. Another brother, William, also died whilst a prisoner of War and is thought to be this man.

The family home was at 30 Hanover Street and Herbert was the eldest of the three brothers. They had a younger sister, Mary. Their parents were John and Mary and, like his father, Herbert worked in a local mill as a cotton spinner. In 1909, he married his fiancée, Mary Alice Lewis, at Portwood Methodist Church. They thought to have lived at 4 Peak Street, Portwood and would have a son together.

When the War came, Herbert joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers. His brother, John, had served with the Regiment as a regular soldier before the War (and was recalled to the colours in August 1914). He went overseas with the Welch Fusiliers and saw active service with them. At some point, he transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers. The Garrison Battalions were formed from men not fit enough for the rigours of duty in the trenches but who could perform useful other military services. This suggests that Herbert might have suffered a somewhat incapacitating wound or his health had deteriorated in some way.

The Fusiliers’ 2nd Garrison Battalion was formed in 1915 and was sent to India on empire duties in February 1916. Around May of 1918, it is thought that it was transferred to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq)  and probably carried out guard duties around the port of Basra. Herbert died of pneumonia, possibly having fallen victim to the virulent pandemic of Spanish Flu which claimed millions of lives worldwide in the autumn of 1918.

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