Sad find in Churchyard tour with Northumbria WW1 project

This group was invited to take a guided walk through St Bartholomews Churchyard in Benton. It has a long historical provinence and established by the 12th century but by 17th century was in a poor state and the parishioners decided to rebuild the church.The land was purchased by Baillol College Oxford which bought alot of land around the country to build churchs and graveyards. The prime minister at the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 Herbert Asquith was an allumini of Balliol and described these men as possessing ‘the tranquil conciousness of an effortless superiority.
The cemetry is unique in containing two high ranking men of the British Army a Lietenant Colonel and a Major. They would have been six and seven ranks below that of the overall commander of the Army Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. A Lt Colonel commanded a battalion of 1,000 men, and
Lt Colonel Alfred Graham Cartwright was born in July 1858 in the heart of London at St James in Westminster the youngest of nine children.
His father Samuel Cartwright was a pioneering dental surgeon of some repute. Alfred chose to take a different route and joined the army. in 1879 he was a second Lieutenant and then rose through the ranks while serving in Sudan and India. In 1896 he was a Major.
By 1908 he was on retirement pay. War brought him out of retirement.
He became Lt Colonel of the 7th Yorkshire regiment in Green Howards in 1914 served in France in the last half of 1915 where he was mentioned twice in despatches. Little is known about his death 16 months later August 1917. He was buried with full military honours and the funeral was attended by his wife Julia her sister and husband. They were all childless and in older years. The grave is untended and sadly largely forgotton. As there were no heirs it is understandable the grave is in such a sorry state.

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