Trooper Benjamin James Foot

© Royston Williamson 2015
© Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research.

Benjamin was baptised on 5th July 1896 at the Parish Church of Thornford, Dorset. His father is Charles Foot: a Labourer his mother is Mary Ann. Benjamin had five brothers Edward, Charles, William, Sidney and Percy. His brother Sidney also served in the Army in WW1 and died in 1914.

In the 1911 census, Benjamin is aged 14 and working as a farm labourer in Thornford Dorset. He is living with his parents.

Benjamin died of Dysentery in Egypt on 30th June 1916. He was only 20 years old. He was serving as a Private in the Dorset Yeomanry Queens Own Corps of Hussars. His regimental number was 1608. He is remembered on the Cairo War Memorial.

The Dorset Yeomanry were involved in the last true Cavalry charge at the Battle of Agagia in Egypt on 26th February 1916. The Western Front Association has a detailed account of the battle on their website. Before coming to Egypt they were involved in the Gallipoli campaign.

Little is known of Benjamin as he died so young; however we have been in touch with his Great Nephew who lives in London. There are many descendants of the Foot family in Dorset and London. They are pleased to hear that Sidney and Benjamin are being remembered by the Museum and have sent a photograph of Sylvia Foot on her wedding day in June 1950. Sylvia is the niece of Sidney and Benjamin, the daughter of William J. Foot who is their elder brother.

Sylvia Foot on her wedding day © Foot Family
Sylvia Foot on her wedding day © Foot Family

Both men were based in Dorset and we were unsure of the connection to Dorking. Further research shows that their older brother Edward Charles Foot was employed as a cowman at Milton Heath, Dorking – and he may have campaigned for their names to appear on the South Street War Memorial.

Born                            Sherbourne, Dorset

Son of                          Mary Ann Foot of 431 Thornford, Sherbourne, Dorset and the late Charles Foot.

Regiment                     Dorset Yeomanry
Number                       1608

Date of Death              30th June 1916
Place of Death             Egypt
Cause of Death            Dysentery

Age                              20

Cemetery                     Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt