Lance Bombardier Benjamin William Buss

Thank you to Jane Anthony and Andrew Bailey for the following research.

The following information comes from the Ewhurst Fallen Website.

Benjamin Buss was born in Tismans Common, Rudgwick in 1892, the son of Christopher & Olive Alice Buss and brother of Jack Buss (b. 1894), Albert Frank Buss (b1896), Jennie Olive Buss (b. 1898) and George Victor Buss (b. 1899) . In 1901 the family were living in Coophurst, Ewhurst, where Christopher was a farmer. Benjamin enlisted in Guildford. He died in hospital near Genoa in Italy, whilst on active service and is buried in the Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy. He is remembered on the Okewood Hill Village War Memorial, Abinger Village War Memorial and Forest Green Village War Memorial Surrey. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (source 1901C, CWGC, Free BDM, Medal Record Cards, Mr Victor Gould)” 

Benjamin’s father was born in Abinger and the family appears to have migrated between Abinger and Rudgwick, where his mother was born. Like his father, who started out life as an agricultural labourer, Benjamin became a hoop maker.

The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918, and rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919.

From November 1917 to the end of the war, Genoa was a base for commonwealth forces and the 11th General, and 38th and 51st Stationary Hospitals, were posted in the city. Staglieno Cemetery contains 230 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

Benjamin Buss’ cause of death was given as “died”, although it is quite often used when prisoners of war die in captivity, in this case it seems more likely that he died in hospital in Genoa either from an illness contracted whilst serving there or as the result of an accident.

He is commemorated on the Abinger, Okewood Hill and Forest Green memorials.

Born                           Tissmans Common, Rudgwick

Son of                         Christopher & Olive Alice Buss of Ditches Green, Ockley

Regiment                     197th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery
Number                       42135

Date of Death              2nd November 1918
Place of Death             Italy
Cause of Death           Died

Age                              26

Memorial                     Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa

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