171280 Pte. Frederick Bennett was born in Southwark, South-East London, England, on April 5th 1897.

Frederick's family emigrated to Canada circa 1913, and was comprised of eight siblings, his father William George Bennett and mother Mary Ann (nèe Taylor - how she came to meet her husband and live in England is unknown as she was born in Ontario in 1867).

The family settled in the Earls Court district of Toronto (an area that had some of the highest World War One enlistment rates in the British Empire!). William Bennett was a builder and Fredrick followed his father into the building trade by becoming a lathe operator. Attestation papers show that Frederick signed up in Toronto, on August 10th 1915, aged 19 years and four months, with an actual enlistment date of the 18th of that month, where he was assigned to the Queen's Own Rifles.

He embarked for England on the 28th of March 1916, on the SS Olympic, and on 7th July 1916 was taken on strength with the 12th Battalion at West Sandling. He was subsequently transferred to the 4th CMR on July 29th, when he landed in France.

Frederick was first reported "Missing", and then subsequently listed as "Killed in Action" on the 1st of October 1916, probably during the Somme battle at Regina Trench.

Frederick now rests in a plot that he shares with an M .J. Major of the Cheshire Regiment, in Stump Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France.

Footnote - Frederick's father William George Bennett also served in France with the 83rd Battalion of Queen's Own Rifles, having signed up in August 1915. He probably lied about his age, as he appears to be significantly younger than he actually was, although later paperwork corrects this. It was probably a ruse to get accepted as he was over 40 years old!. He was later discharged as unfit after three and a half years of service.

His brother, Alfred Bennett, was three years his senior and also served with the army but in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, enlisting in February 1916. Alfred was discharged in August 1919. He died in 1936 as a result of ill health caused by the war and is buried in the military section of Prospect Park Cemetery in Toronto.

Both Frederick's father and brother must have been serving in France when news came through of Frederick's death, which on top of everything else they were experiencing at this time must have been hard to bear.

Credit for the biography and image goes to Allan McAllister, great nephew to Pte. Frederick Bennett.