Arthur Herbert Bentley
Serial No. 1877
Arthur Herbert Bentley - Information
Arthur was one of eight children of George and Matilda Bentley, born in Canterbury on the 3rd of February 1886. His parents then moved the family to Leumeah Rd in Campbelltown. Arthur was working as a labourer in the area when he decided to join up at the age of 29.
Arthur enlisted in the AIF at Bathurst on the 21st of January 1916. He was then sent overseas, departing Sydney Harbour as a Private with the 3rd Reinforcements, 45th Battalion on the 22nd of May on the HMAT Warilda. Arthur arrived at Plymouth in July and was immediately dispatched to the 12th Training Battalion at Rollestone. Here, Arthur and his comrades were prepared for the fighting conditions on the Western Front. He proceeded overseas to France on the 13th of September, and was then taken on strength to the 45th Battalion.
Arthur was sent into the trenches during one of the worse winters of the war, the winter of 1916-17. Arthur, like many others suffered through the cold months, hampered by winter rains that filled the trenches, and consequently developed trench foot. He was taken out of the lines and admitted to hospital at Rouen in March 1917, and later evacuated for treatment in England. Arthur spent most of the year recuperating from the horrendous frostbite and venereal disease, rejoining his unit in France in November. The following year, he fought with the 45th Battalion breaking the momentum of the German Spring advance at Dernancourt in March. Then using tactics of peaceful penetration the Allies gained back some ground. On the 8th of August they launched their own offensive leading to the Armistice. After the war ended, he was granted ‘Blighty Leave’ to England. Returning to France for duty, he was then shipped home on the 2nd of June 1919 aboard the HMAT Beltana.
On returning to Campbelltown, Arthur reunited with his family and his older brother, George, who also served overseas. Arthur soon met Leumeah local Katherine Agnes Leonard whom was 24 years his junior. They fell in love and married at St Paul's in Chatswood on the 11th of December 1926. Making a home in Campbelltown, Arthur and Katherine were blessed with nine children. Arthur died at 60 years of age in 1946 and was buried at St Peters in Campbelltown. Katherine had to raise their young children alone. Sadly, this included their youngest Kay, still just a baby. Katherine died in 1980 at Campbelltown Hospital aged 70.