Middlesex Regiment 2/10th Battalion, service no. G/87008
Died May 23rd, 1918. Jerusalem, aged 30
Commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial
Ben was born in 1887 to John Morris Bather and his wife Annie (nee Rees) in Lower Sydenham, Kent, although the town was later included within the borough of Lewisham.
Ben's father John had been born in Brecon in 1860 and lived at 60, Orchard Street, Llanfaes. His family moving to Free Street, Brecon by 1871.By the time he is 21, is John boarding in Ystradyfodwg and working as a gas fitter. He later meets Annie Rees from Tredegar and they get married in Lewisham in 1885 and live there for a number of years, having five children, with Ben being the second eldest.
The family had been living at 38, Stanton Square, Kent Lane, Lewisham in 1891 and had moved to 4, Florence Villas, Lewisham by 1901. At the time the family were living in Lewisham they appear to have made friends with another local family living nearby, the Phillips family.
Unfortunately, John dies in 1908 and Annie and most of the family move back to Brecon and live at 73, The Struet in 1911. One of the Phillips' sons, Charles, moves to Brecon with the Bathers.
Ben and his eldest brother Fred remain in Lewisham as gas workers and in 1911 are in lodgings with the Phillips family. The Phillips had also lost their father by this time and widow Louisa is head of the household at 1, Stanton Place, Kent Lane, Lewisham.
In August 1915 Ben married Mary Roberts of 2, Rock and Castle, Brecon in the Priory Church. The couple intended to make their home in London, although Mary appears to have remained in Brecon and had a daughter Florence in early 1917.
Ben enlists in Surrey in 1916 under conscription and joins the Middlesex Regiment (the Duke of Cambridge's Own).
The 2nd/10th Battalion Middlesex Regiment was by 1916 in Egypt fighting as part of the 160th (Welsh Border) Brigade within the 53rd (Welsh) Division and fought in many battles in the region, including the Palestine campaign.
Benjamin's younger brother Charles, also in this book³º. Died in service with the South Wales Borderers in Mesopotamia in 1917 and his older brother Fred was seriously burnt in France whilst serving with the Army Ordnance Corps.