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Second Lieutenant Claude L Bentley


Harrogate Herald - 17th January 1917

Roll of Honour

Second Lieutenant Claude L Bentley, Highland Light Infantry, who has been accidently killed by a hand grenade, was the second son of Mrs Bentley, of George Street, Edinburgh, and an old boy of the Clifton House School, Harrogate, where he had many friends, and also in the town. The Scotsman, referring to his death, says the circumstances are reported in a letter from the Colonel commanding his battalion : "As bombing instructor, Second Lieutenant Bentley was teaching men to throw live grenades, when one of the men, through nervousness apparently, did not throw the grenade clear of the trench in which they were standing for safety. The grenade began to roll back in the trench, and Lieutenant Bentley - always very quick and resourceful - told the men in the trench to jump out, and did so himself. Meanwhile the corporal instructor saw that the grenade had stopped rolling, and would burst in a second or two on top of the trench, so he shouted to the others to stay in the trench and lie down, thereby saving them, only the thrower of the grenade being slightly wounded of those in the trench. The grenade exploded, killing Lieutenant Bentley instantaneously.

Your boy was one of he best officers in the battalion, and one whom I had grown to like and value as a friend. He was so hardworking, painstaking, and reliable, and always cheery and helpful. He was of the very greatest assistance to me during recent fighting, and had more to do with the running of the battalion as a whole than almost anyone in it. Intelligence officer, sniping officer, and bombing officer, those were some of his duties that he did for us and did extremely well".