The data is the editor's interpretation of documents from the The National Archives, London, Commonwealth War Graves Commission,Ancestry and Find My Past.

BENTLEY Frank, Private died 25/03/1918 aged Service Record 17561 Bedfordshire Regiment 7th Battalion. Remembered at Pozieres Memorial.

From the battalion diaries:

25 March 1918 3am Orders received to fall back to CREPIGNY line, which was successfully carried out. Enemy now about 2 miles in rear of left flank. 10am Fell back again to MONT DU GRANDU to safeguard left flank.

At 10am on the 25th their left flank was again exposed as the French around them retired so another retirement was ordered, back to Mont Du Grandu further south and away from the British Fifth Army. The Germans were still two miles to their rear, so the Brigade, along with much of the 18th Division had no choice but to fight alongside the French. Midday saw them in a strong position but, once again, French artillery and machine guns opened fire on them, thinking they were Germans, forcing them to retire to high ground west of Grandu.
More orders were received at 3pm to move to Varesnes on the south bank of the River Oise but whilst en-route they were countermanded with the order to counter attack and retake a village called Babouef.

The Germans had not expected a British counter attack, thinking there was nothing but ragged French units in their area, so were surprised at the arrival of 3 small but determined British battalions. They put up little fight and many Germans fell in the hand to hand fighting that lasted for around 20 minutes before the village was secured and the remaining enemy – that could get away – fled.

12 noon Heavily fired on by French Artillery & M.G's & forced to retire to high ground West of GRANDU. GRANDU 3pm Received orders to march to VARESNES to take up position South of OISE: orders countermanded while en route & new orders received to counter-attack village of BABOEUF. Counter-attack successful & village retaken, several prisoners being taken & many enemy killed.

Frank Bentley seems to have been killed in an 'unusual' localised fight. His battalion had been heavily engaged since 23 March fighting a ferocious rearguard action during the German Spring Offensives that has seen almost their entire division wiped out. A small group of British troops counter attacked a much larger German force that they had no right attacking, and beat them soundly, with Frank being one of their casualties by the looks if things.



Thanks to Glyn Warwick for providing details from the battalion war diaries. He is written a book about the fallen heroes of Stansted Mountfitchet,
They Sleep In Heroes Graves ISBN 978-0-9558964-0-8