Saving Captain and Private Bennets

Seems there’s more interesting stories in the Newcastle Staffordshire graveyard of Saint Margarets. ..

I stumbled upon this gravestone at the rear of the old ancient cemetery.

Seems we have there a gravestone that records the death of three brothers the Bennet family of Porthill during World War I  (1914 -1918). Two soldiers including Captain Bennet and his younger brother plus a boy of 15 or 16 in 1915.

Looks like their mother Mrs Bennet lost three sons during the First World War or Great War ..looks to me as if the first son may not have been recorded by His Majesty’s Armed Forces as the youngest killed early in 1915 is under age of military service personnel allowed .and like many young men at the outbreak of World War I joined up looking for adventure and glory.

Like my great uncle killed in 1918 serving with the Nottinghamshire Rifle regiment who joined up, maybe like Mrs Bennets youngest son, at 15 years of age.

As falsification of ID was not rigorously controlled by the recruiting officers at the time of the WW1. The Bennets of Porthill Newcastle Staffordshire may have lost three sons.

Captain Bennet towards the end of the war and his younger brother killed on Hill 40 probably during one the of battles of the Ypes salient in Flanders around 1916 -1917. As well as a third under age son possibly their kid brother early in the war in 1914 – 1915.

If so we must acknowledge this sacrifice officially if the history records show this to be so or I’m right in my assumptions? !

Who killed Sarah Smith?

With Half a pint of poisen He came to visit me "Let all read may know this"

Notorious Crime: Who did the murdered girl accuse on her tombstone in 1763?

Written on the 250-year-old grave of Sarah Smith is the extraordinary claim that the buried girl was poisoned.

Who killed Sarah Smith? Ask the Rev. Eddy Sneyd of Saint Margarets church Wolstanton in the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Because Mr Crick, a local historian and archive expert who studied the murder and who has spent the last three years investigating this 300 year old murder. He states that the parish records at that time during the 18th century written and recorded by the Rev. E. Sneyd CLEARLY show who C…S B…W is. .and solves the 18th century unsolved murder mystery case.

The grave has puzzled visitors to the church for centuries. Who was Sarah Smith – and more intriguingly, who was the person responsible for her murder, if she was sent to her death by the hand of a killer?

At that time, Reverend Edward Sneyd was the vicar at St Margaret’s, of the powerful and wealthy Sneyd family, the lords of the manor. It seems unlikely that a murder accusation would be allowed to be written onto a gravestone in his churchyard without his knowledge and approval.

Did the Rev Sneyd believe the story that was perhaps passed on to him by Sarah’s family? Did he know the identity of Sarah’s killer? It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Rev Sneyd was called out to visit Sarah as she lay on her death bed. It could even be that he heard her utter the accusation herself. It would be difficult to disbelieve the testimony of a dying girl.

Was it Rev Sneyd who convinced Sarah’s family to simply put the killer’s initials on the headstone, rather than identifying the killer outright?

There is no evidence that anyone was brought to justice for the murder – if there was a murder – but Sarah and her family would have exacted a small revenge on the killer, just from the wagging tongues that must have been set in motion.

Whoever C–––S B–––W was, he (or she) would have surely heard the rumours, perhaps people would stop talking when he walked into the local inn, or people would whisper behind his back.

Scant consolation perhaps for Sarah’s parents, Samuel and Martha, but village life would have at least been very uncomfortable for the poisoner.

But more than 250 years after Sarah’s death, the mystery may have in fact been solved by historian Jeremy Crick, who lives close to St Margaret’s Church in Wolstanton.

Mr Crick spent three years researching the grave, trawling through parish records and spending hours in the library, after coming across it during a stroll through the churchyard.

The true identify the killer, as a wealthy farmer, who lived at Red Street, not far from Sarah’s home at Bradwall estate. A man named Charles Barlow.

Continue reading “Who killed Sarah Smith?”