SECOND LIEUTENANT GILBERT FIELDING SAMES
24TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: PREMONT BRITISH CEMETERY, AISNE, FRANCE
Mrs Frances May Sames, Second Lieutenant Gilbert Sames' mother, chose his inscription? How did she know what had happened to her son? There are three letters still in the family's possession that describe how he was wounded. The letters don't all agree about the manner of his wounding - sniper, shell, machine gun - but at least one tells of how he was trying to bring in twenty-five-year-old Lance Corporal John Benstead, a member of his tank crew, when he was shot in the chest. It was 5 am. Sames died in a Casualty Clearing Station the next day. Benstead had died of his wounds the previous day. Both men are buried in Premont British Cemetery.
Sames was twenty, he had been commissioned into the Tank Corps on 3 February 1918 and arrived in France on 13 August to serve with the 10th Battalion. On 23 October the battalion took part in an action at Bousies. The war diary notes the various successes and otherwise of its tanks. This one sounds as though it could have been Sames' tank; he would have been the OIC, the officer in charge:
9172 OIC and 4 men wounded. Fired 53 rounds 6 pdr, 275 SAA
Tank left Sp. at 01.30 and proceeded along laid down route. On reaching the sunken road in k36d.9.2 the driver was wounded and the engine stopped. The enemy threw 2 bunches of bombs at the stationary tank, the tank was restarted but one track was found to be broken. The tank was abandoned at k36d.9.2; the OIC and 4 crew were wounded whilst evacuating.