Remember Them

Rank: Private
Service No: 26415
Date of Death: 05/06/1917
Regiment/Service: Northamptonshire Regiment 2nd Garrison Bn.
Grave Reference: C. 9. C.R. 4988.

Additional Information:

Born in 1888 at Wicken Bonhunt Essex, son of Timothy (Agricultural Labourer) and Emily Corby. 1891: With his family at Wicken Bonhunt. His father died in 1899, after which the family moved to Woodford. 1901: A Scholar with his family at 2, Chorley Cottages, Grove Hill South Woodford. His Mother remarried in 1906 to Postal/Telegraph Clerk Henry Jellis. 1911: A Grocers Carman, living with his Stepfather, Mother and family at 3, Forest Villas, Peel Road, South Woodford.

Having enlisted at Stratford, Percy Corby was allocated to 2 Garrison Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, and in the Autumn of 1917 he was part of the Sheerness Garrison in Kent.

On Thursday afternoon 05-06-17, Hauptman Ernst Brandenburg of Kagohl 3 led a force of twenty two Gotha bombers from the airfields at Melle-Gontrode and St Denis Westrem in Belgium. At 18.25 they bombed the gunnery establishment at Shoeburyness in Essex from 15,000ft, and then turned south for Sheerness on the Kent side of the Thames Estuary.

People were still on the beach and walking about, when the local anti aircraft defences began firing. Then at 18.30, bombs began falling around the town and naval dockyard, causing damage and a number of deaths and injuries. Some devices also fell at the Well Marsh and Botany Army Camps. It is probably from the explosions here rather than those at the moat West of Ravelin Bridge or its nearby gun battery, that Benjamin Corby lost his life. In all ten servicemen were killed (two at Shoeburyness) at 26 wounded. Further casualties occurred among the civilian population.

Memorial: Roll of Honour: St Mary’s Church.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Kent History Forum.
Qualification: Borough Resident.