Uncle Willie by Steve Noel

A Valley’s View Digital Story

Uncle Willie Digital Story Transcript

This is Willie Arthur Bennett who was a Sergeant in the Herefordshire regiment. Through research we found a letter in the Ross Gazette dated September 16th 1915 from Will and he’s written to his sister, my gran, and he says “I am writing this in a trench but I am quite alright although shells are flying right and left of us. The way our men are acting is grand. A lot of the poor chaps got hit badly but thanking God I got through although I was scared a little but a shell that fell only a few yards away but did not burst”. This photograph I got in front of me, you can imagine it’s quite a unique one. This is a photograph of Willie in the trenches with his arm on a German officer. You can see the pickelhaube and the ornate eagle on top of the helmet. Through research and talking to my surviving uncles they informed me that all this equipment was taken off a German and one of his friends dressed up for effect. He did survive the war unscathed but out of all the brothers he was the one who saw most of the action.

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