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Cambs 876 Remembered

Posted on - November 12th, 2014

On 29th November at 10:40am the a short service will be held to honour Pte William Anderson, of the 2/1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment, who died in Cambridge of emphysema on the 29th November 1914, aged 23. Pte Anderson lived on the High Street.

Cambs 876 Remembered is a commemorative project devised and being conducted by Eastern Region members of the Riders Branch, Royal British Legion. The intention of the Riders is to honour all 876 as part of the national WWI centenary commemorations. The first task will be to research each individual, to consolidate known or previously unknown facts and share all findings with a Royal British Legion project called ‘Every Man Remembered’. Then the Riders will ride  (where reasonably practicable) to each and every memorial on the 100th anniversary of each individual’s passing and place a poppy cross at their memorial.

The Riders encourage any family members of the Officers and Soldiers to become involved in whichever way they feel willing and able.

This will be followed by tea and coffee at the Village Hall.

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Begins at 10:50 hrs at Benwick Cemetery

Benwick Cemetery has memorials for two members of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, who gave their lives during WW1.

We will return in February 2015 to remember Pte Arthur Sallabanks.

We are here today to remember Pte. William Anderson, who died on this day 100 hundred years ago, aged 23. He contracted and perished of double emphysema, whilst preparing for action in the trenches.

Sixteen of the deceased’s comrades-in-arms from ‘G’ Company were released from front line duties to attend the funeral, four of whom acted as carriers from the family house to the church.

As soon as the solemn procession set off, a storm of wind, hail and rain arose, compelling the 160 school children to seek shelter. Notwithstanding, a good concourse of the village people braved the elements and almost filled the church. Among the mourners were his parents, grandmother, Uncle, Aunt, cousins and fiancée Miss Mary Richardson.

The coffin, was draped with the Union Jack and ‘The Last Post’ was sounded over the grave by Sgt Franklin.

The parents received abundant messages of sympathy in their great loss, including the following note; ‘The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of His Majesty and the Queen in your sorrow’. Signed, Kitchener.