Private 4874 Benjamin Hopkins

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 19th July 1916, age unknown.
Commemorated on Panel 22 to 25 of Loos Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd/6th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 182nd Brigade of 61st Division.

Son of Joseph and Eliza Hopkins, of 43, Horton St., West Bromwich.
Born: Birmingham, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Peter's, Greets Green Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/732182/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
43 Horton Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Joseph Hopkins (46, Galvaniser, born Brockmoor), his wife Eliza (49, born West Bromwich), and their 5 children: Reece (18, Labourer, born West Bromwich), William (17, born West Bromwich), Emily (14, born West Bromwich), Benjamin (11, born West Bromwich), and Louise (7, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
49 Horton Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Joseph Hopkins (56, Galvaniser, born Brierley Hill), his wife Eliza (58, born Great Bridge), and 3 of their 7 children: William (27, Forge Labourer, born Great Bridge), Benjamin (21, Shop Assistant, born Great Bridge), and Louise (17, Home Duties, born Great Bridge).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The attack at Fromelles on 19th/20th July 1916 was intended to prevent German troops being moved southwards to take part in the Battle of the Somme which had commenced on the 1st July. By 19th July some modest momentum had been gained by the Allies on the Somme, and the assault on the strategically placed Pozieres Ridge was about to commence.

The 2/6th Royal Warwicks, as part of 61st Division, had only been in France since 21st May 1916. They were the right flank of the attack, the Australian 5th Division was to attack on the left.

On the extreme right flank the 2/6th Royal Warwicks had some success and held the German front line trenches for a number of hours. The gains could not be held, mainly because the attack in the centre had failed due to uncut wire and German machine guns in the Sugar Loaf salient. At 5.00 am on July 20th, the attack was called off. The 2/6th Royal Warwicks were forced to fall back to their starting points, taking heavy casualties as they did so.

This short attack failed in its objective of taking and holding German trenches, but cost 1500 casualties from the British 61st Division. Although no ground was held by the attack, at the time it was considered to have at least partly succeeded in stopping some German troops being transferred south to the Somme battlefield.

91 men from the 2/6th Royal Warwicks were to be killed in action on the 19th July, with a further 10 dying from their wounds over the next 6 days. Bernard Hopkins, like many of his Royal Warwicks comrades, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Gazette 28th August 1916
Many Warwicks wounded and missing.
Warwicks- Hopkins, 4874, B., (Tipton).