Jewish servicemen remember 'the Hero of Bourlon Wood'

During a visit to the Rock a group of Jewish servicemen placed a wreath at the plaque on the ground floor of the House of Parliament. This plaque describes Lieutenant Solomon Benzecry as ‘the Hero of Bourlon Wood’ for his actions on 30 November 1917.

Colonel Martin Newman, Padre Reuben Livingstone, Officer Cadet Bernard Nissenbaum and Corporal Malcolm Pitch were joined by Momy Levy for a short ceremony at which the Padre recited a memorial prayer. Padre Livingstone is one of only two rabbis in the British Army.

Lieutenant Benzecry, a Gibraltarian, had joined the 17th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers who were facing a determined German attack on the front line near Cambrai, France.

In the words of his Commanding Officer, ‘Of the heroism of the rearguard it is difficult to speak. Captain Stone and Lieutenant Benzecry, although ordered to withdraw to the main line, elected to remain with the rearguard. The rearguard was seen fighting with bayonet, bullet and bomb to the last. There was no survivor. Captain Stone by his invaluable information as the the movements of the enemy prior to the attack and his subsequent sacrifice with the rearguard, saved the situation at the cost of his life. Lieutenant Benzecry was seen to be wounded in the head. He continued to fight until he was killed.'

Lieutenant Benzecry is buried at the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region in France.

05-07-11



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