Private Benjamin Samuel Claridge was the first of three Claridge brothers (and one cousin) who would die over eighteen months. He had been born in 1895, and was educated at Harewood School. A short man at 5 feet 3 inches, he had worked on a family farm in Studholme, South Canterbury, and served in the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment along with many other South Canterbury men. He volunteered in April 1916, and after basic training left New Zealand on 26 July 1916 arrived in France in November 1916. During his training, he had forfeited two days' pay (plus CB – confined to barracks) for being absent without leave in Trentham. On arrival in France, he joined the 13th Company of the Second Battalion, spending the winter helping to hold the Armentieres sector of the front line. On 8 June 1917 he was wounded, either in a trench raid or shelling of the New Zealand positions prior to the Messines offensive, and died of his wounds in the No 53 Casualty Clearing Station . He is buried at the Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension in Northern France, and commemorated on his parents' grave at St Paul's in Papanui as well as the Harewood School Memorial on Harewood Road.
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