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Stephen Benson

There were two sparks that lit the flame for Stephen's passion for military history, firstly when he learnt that his grandfather was a First World War veteran, a boy soldier who served throughout the conflict with the Notts & Derby Regiment. The second was Remembrance Day 1975, when he stood at the war memorial in his home town of Northwich, Cheshire, looking at the names, wondering who they were and what happened to them. That day nearly 50 years ago sparked a passion that has never diminished. Years of photographing the war memorials throughout the county, researching the names inscribed on them, visiting the battlefields and walking the ground they fought on, all came together ten years ago when he created the Cheshire Roll of Honour, a website dedicated to all those from the county of Cheshire who have fallen in conflict since the Boer War to the present day. Today the site has over 31,500 names, nearly 5,000 pictures and hundreds of stories of those named on our memorials, they are as the Roll states ‘More than a Name.’ Over the next couple of years another 25,000 names will be added, these are soldiers who returned.

He is involved with numerous organisations and also runs his own projects and small tours to the battlefields, recently he organised a commemoration service to the 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment who captured the eastern face of Stuff Redoubt in October 1916, at Grandcourt, France. Besides writing he is organising the restoration of a private memorial in Bazentin, France, to Captain Houston Stewart Hamilton Wallace, who served in the Worcestershire Regiment and was killed in July 1916. The plan is to have the work completed in the early summer, with a commemoration service in Bazentin on 22nd July 2024, the anniversary of the day Houston fell. Houston came from Birkenhead, which was part of Cheshire until 1974, his story and the story of memorial is in itself fascinating.

Most recently Stephen graduated with an MA in British History and the First World War at the University of Wolverhampton.

Stephen Benson
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