Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
15 Aug 1915
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Benjamin Tuffnell, 4291, D Company, 1/5th Bedfords, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 15th*, 1915. He was the fifth son of Mrs Ann Tuffnell, of 15 York Street, Luton, and the second of her boys to die on the battlefield.
Luton-born Benjamin was born in the summer of 1887, around the time his father William, a Staff Sergeant in the Army, died. William had married Ann Fuller at St Nicholas Church, Plumstead, on July 1st, 1869. He went through the Boer War without a scratch and received two medals. He saw considerable service abroad, chiefly at Gibraltar.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Benjamin was a blocker working for hat manufacturers Messrs Carruthers Ltd, King Street, until he enlisted in September 1914. He was living with his Suffolk-born mother and older brothers Henry (Harry), who was killed in action at Hill 60 in France on April 21st, 1915, and Alfred, aged 30, who was serving in the trenches in France with the 7th Bedfords at the time of Benjamin's death.
Pte Tuffnell was in D Company and acted as servant to Second-Lieut E. L. Rawlins, who was wounded on the same day. Second-Lieut F. W. H. Nicholas, a well-known Bedfordshire cricketer, wrote to Mrs Tuffnell to say her son was with himself and Second-Lieut Rawlins until he was hit.
"We did all we could for him," said Second-Lieut Nicholas, "and I think he died under no pain. He was wonderfully cool and brave under fire, and behaved just like the true British soldier that he was. More I cannot say - I am too deeply grieved."
The information supplemented that in letters from another Luton soldier, Pte Soper, of 81 Boyle Street, who said that Benjamin Tuffnell was killed on the battlefield on the Sunday afternoon [August 15th].
Another son, George, aged 18, had died following an accident at work at Hayward Tyler on Christmas Eve 1902.
[* Eyewitness date}