Benjamin Whittingham was born in Wolverhampton in 1885. He worked as a tinman at the Standard Works in Cherry Street, Wolverhampton. In 1908, he joined the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment and served in South Africa.
On 28 September 1914, he went to France with his regiment, and was reported as missing in November. It was thought that he might be a prisoner of war. However, over a year later, in December 1915, his parents, Mr and Mrs Whittingham of 1 Thorn Street, off Ettingshall Road, received notification from the War Office that their son had been killed on 7 November 1914. This is confirmed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which gives his service number as 8685 and states that he is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. He is also commemorated on the Bilston Priestfield roll of honour.
The Express & Star article, headed “In Suspense for Over a Year”, also mentions Benjamin’s brother, a Sergeant J. Whittingham, of the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been working for Mander Brothers when he was called up at the outbreak of war. He had been wounded and was working as a drill sergeant at an officers’ training quarters by December 1915.