1st May 2015 sees the 100th anniversary of a tragic episode in World War I involving men of the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment. On 1 May 1915 the Dorsets were holding part of the front line near the Belgian town of Ypres at Hill 60, a large spoil heap from the construction of the nearby railway cutting. It was a fine sunny day and the enemy was unusually quiet until around 7.15 p.m.
Born in Bridport, Dorset in May 1908, Ben Symes’ father had unfortunately been killed during the Somme offensive in 1916, so he was brought up in South Wales by his fathers cousin.
Upon leaving school he worked in the local mines and joined the Army in 1928 serving 6 years in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Royal Tank Regiments. He was then in the Army Reserves.
At the outbreak of war he joined the 9t Lancers and