Corporal Benjamin Boxall
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Benjamin George Boxhall was born in the 4th quarter of 1897 in Brockham, Surrey to bricklayer William Boxall and Annie Boxall nee Edser.
At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived in Middle Street, Brockham. William was working as a bricklayer and Annie was at home. The household further comprised of their children: bricklayer’s labourer Walter Richard; houseboy Alfred; Beatrice; Edward; Emma; Percy; Frederick John and Benjamin George.
Annie died in the 1st quarter of 1909 in the Registration District of Reigate, Surrey.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the widowed William Boxall lived in Middle Street, Brockham, Betchworth, Surrey. William was working as a bricklayer. The household further comprised of his children: general labourer Albert William; Beatrice who was keeping house for her father; cowman Edward; baker’s assistant Percy, errand boy Frederick John and schoolboy Benjamin George. The accommodation had 4 rooms. William stated that he has 10 children.
Benjamin George Boxall enlisted in Guildford into the 6th Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. His regimental number was S/6873. At the time of his enlistment Benjamin George resided in Dorking.
Benjamin George Boxall disembarked on the 1st of June 1915 in France.
At the time of his death he was a Corporal.
Benjamin George Boxall was killed on the 17th of July 1917 in France. He was killed by a snipers bullet to the head.
Corporal Boxall was amongst the first batch of Brockham lads to enlist at the recruiting meeting on the Green soon after the outbreak of war. After the necessary training he was sent to the front, and thus has been on active service for considerably over two years. He had been previously twice wounded and was last home on leave a few months ago. (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Previously to joining up he was in the employ of Mr Morgan at Brooklands. Benjamin George was the youngest of seven sons, all in the Army. When the sixth son enlisted voluntarily the father Mr. William Boxall, received a congratulatory letter from His Majesty the King. (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Pte G. Constable, a family friend, wrote to Benjamin George’s father: “Just a few lines to let you know that your son Corpl. Benjamin Boxall, was sniped in the head by a German on the 17th inst. …. It was early in the morning, soon after day break, when it happened. He was in a shallow trench, and having a look around when he was killed instantly, the bullet piercing him through the head, so he did not suffer any pain. He will be greatly missed by all in his company and regiment, as he was liked by all his mates.” (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Benjamin George Boxall is buried at the Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt in France. His grave reference number is: V.C.15.
He received the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.
Benjamin George’s father William Boxall received £21, 5s and 1d on the 9th of November 1917 and a further £14 and 10s on the 5th of November 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
Boxall Family History
Benjamin’s father William Boxall was born about 1856 to blacksmith Alfred, born about 1820 and Eliza, born about 1823, all in Leigh. William was baptised on the 6th of July 1856 at St Bartholomew’s church in Leigh. At the time of his baptism the family lived in the village. At the time of the 1881 Census, William was a boarder of bricklayer Henry Jordan at 7 Brookside, Brockham. At his time William was also working as a bricklayer.
Benjamin’s mother Annie Edser was born on the 29th of March 1858 in Abinger to bricklayer Richard Edser, born about 1819 in Shere and laundress Julia Edser, born about 1823 in Dorking. Annie was baptised on the 2nd May of 1858 at St James’ church in Abinger. At this time the family lived in Abinger and Richard was working as a bricklayer. At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived in Orchard Road in Dorking. Richard Edser was working as a bricklayer and Julia Edser was a laundress. The household further comprised of their children including Annie., who was working as a domestic servant. William Boxall and Annie Edser married on the 2nd December of 1882 in Dorking.
Benjamin Boxall had nine siblings: Albert William, born in the 2nd quarter of 1883; Walter Richard born in the 4th quarter of 1884; Lilian Mary born in the 3rd quarter of 1886; Alfred, born in the 2nd quarter of 1888; Beatrice born in the 1st quarter of 1890; Edward, born in the 1st quarter of 1891; Emma, born in the 1st quarter of 1893; Percy born in the 3rd quarter of 1894 and Frederick John born in the 4th quarter of 1896 , all in Brockham.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived in Middle Street, Brockham. Annie was working as a laundress. The household further comprised of her children: scholars Albert William, Walter Richard, Lilian Mary, Alfred, Beatrice and Edward.
Son of Youngest son of William and Annie Boxall, Middle Street, Brockham
Regiment 6th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Date of Death 17th July 1917
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France