Digger Albert Afred Bent

St Kilda Digger Albert Alfred Bent

by Jim Claven, Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

As I walked around the graves of the fallen Anzacs at the little Ari Burnu Cemetery near Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, I came across a digger connected to St Kilda in the City of Port Phillip, the city where our new Lemnos-Gallipoli Memorial was erected in August 2015.

He was Trooper 223 Albert Alfred Bent, of the 8th Australian Light Horse. He served in A troop, B squadron, 3rd brigade.

Born in Albury NSW, he had attended Albury State School.

Enlisting at the age of 35 in Melbourne on 17 September 1914, he listed his profession as a labourer, working in the building trade.

His place of association is listed as St Kilda - his mother Preston C Bent lived at 57 Spencer Street in that suburb, and maybe that's where Albert lived before he enlisted.

He sailed from Princes Pier, Melbourne, aboard the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria. It left Melbourne on 25 February 1915. After arriving in Egypt, Albert sailed from Alexandria in Egypt on 16 May 1915, headed for Gallipoli.

Just over a month later - on 27 June 1915 - Albert was killed in action and was buried at the cemetery then called Gallipoli Point, now known as Ari Burnu.

He received the British War Medal, 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal.

Lest we forget.

Visit Lemnos Gallipoli blogspot for more information about the Lemnos-Gallipoli Commemorative Committee and the memorial sculpture.

Update to the story - Private Bent's medals found and reunited with his family!

In early April I reported the story of Private Albert Alfred Bent and my finding his grave at Gallipoli's Aru Burni Cemetery. As a result of this initial post, I can now report that Albert's long lost WWI medals have been returned to his descendents.

Firstly, Richard Watkins of Tasmania contacted me to let me know that for some unknown reason his family were in possession of two of Private Bent's medals. Maybe the families were related in some way. At the same time, one of Albert's descendent's - Helen O'Connor of Sydney - had thanked me for posting my initial story about her great uncle. She told me how she had been researching Albert's story for ten years and the family treasured Albert's WWI memorial plaque and scroll that they had. But sadly, they did not know what had happened to his medals.

On behalf of Richard, I have been able to re-unite Albert's long lost medals with his family.

This just shows how powerful and useful the internet can be.

On behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, I would like to thank Richard Watkins for re-uniting Private Bent's WWI medals with his descendents. Well done.

Jim Claven, 2016


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