Sapper Benjamin Arthur Tribe, 313628, Royal Engineers. Born 1886. Died 1963.

Benjamin was born in Bosheston, Pembroke, Wales, in October, 1886, to Benjamin and Mary Ann Tribe (nee Cole).

The third of four sons born to the couple, his brothers were: William Henry Tribe, born in 1884, Charles George Tribe, born in 1890, and John Frederick Tribe, born in 1891.

The 1891 and 1901 Census for Wales saw the family living in Steynton, Milford, Pembrokeshire, and in 1911 they were living in Milford Haven.

The first record of work for Benjamin is seen in the 1901 Census, where he is listed as a Post Office Messenger. In 1903 he was shown to be working as a cleaner at North Milford rail station, on the Great Western line, Neath Division. He entered service there on February 23rd, 1903, aged 16, and was transferred to Old Milford station on May 11th, 1903. The record here notes his date of birth as August 28th, 1886, rather than the October as suggested by the birth register.

Benjamin married Ethel Scott on January 2nd, 1909, in Milford Haven, and on August 4th of that same year, the first of four known children was born: Norman Arthur Tribe, who went on to marry Amy Bean in Haverfordwest in 1935.

In 1911, Benjamin was listed as a fish worker - this is echoed in his 1916 calling at Attestation as fish packer.

On May 7th 1912, the couple had a daughter:Ethel Louisa Tribe, who went on to marry Percival Dixon in Haverfordwest in 1938.

Two more children came along, rather belatedly, on June 26th 1924, when twin girls were born: Sybil and Marjorie. The latter married William C. M. Johnson, in Haverfordwest in 1947. Sybil married James J. Phillips in Haverfordwest in 1953.

Even with Benjamin's service record, it is hard to piece together what his service experience was, as the records themselves were part of the 'Burnt Records', destroyed or damaged in the WW2 bombing of London. Whilst Benjamin's service records survived, just, the photocopied copies of them since obtained are extremely difficult to read and interpret.

As far as can be ascertained, Benjamin presented himself for Attestation to the Army Reserve on December 12th, 1915, and thence was enlisted on March 13th, 1916. He appears to have been working the Cross Channel service on barges from September 1916 to February 1919, taking in Calais, Dunkirk and Dieppe on a continual basis.

It can be seen that he was Lance Corporal during this time and that he saw service too on the French canals.

Benjamin was still Lance Corporal when he was demobilized on March 5th, 1919, after which he was eligible for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Both Benjamin and Ethel passed away in Haverfordwest in 1963.

The above represents a very potted history for Benjamin Tribe. He was not associated in any way with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

However, there was an unexplained connection with Ontario. So, only if you are related to Benjamin Arthur Tribe, could you please contact me (Ian), via the Contact page.