Private Benjamin Inchley Baines was the son of Benjamin and Jane Elizabeth Baines of Virginia Cottage, High Street, Uppingham. He was born in Wymondham, Leicestershire, and living there when he enlisted in Leicester. Benjamin joined the Second Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and was killed in Mesopotamia [Iraq] on 6 April 1916 at the Battle of Sannayiat. The Indian Brigade, of which the Leicestershires were part, was sent from France to Iraq, arriving at Basra on 6 December. The Brigade now formed part of Tigris Corps, ordered to relieve an Anglo-Indian force under siege at Kut-al-Amarrah, south of Baghdad. The advance up the Tigris began on 4 January and met stiff opposition from Ottoman forces almost from the start. In early April, after a number of battles and skirmishes, the brigade was preparing a dawn attack on the Turks, at Sannayiat. The Leicestershires' war diary takes up the story: "Owing to considerable delay during the march the attacking brigades were 1000 yards short of enemy's position at daylight. Suddenly the enemy opened up with withering fire. The first two lines of the Brigade pushed forward to within 800 yards of the enemy's postion until compelled to halt through very heavy casualties (our own artillery on the right bank responsible for a considerable number.)" It was in this action that Benjamin was killed, one of more than 300 battalion casualties. He was buried near where he fell but his grave has been lost and he is now remembered on Panel 12 of the Basra Memorial, along with two other Rutlanders who died in the same action, Herbert Billings and George Rawlings. Benjamin is also remembered on Wymondham's war memorial.
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