Lt Col
Philip Eric Bent

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

General information

Second Mate - Merchant Navy

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Lieutenant Colonel
Enlistment date:
 —  Leicestershire Regiment, 9th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Joist Farm, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 50A

Distinctions and medals 6

1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Medal — 04/06/1917
Mentioned in Despatches
Honourable mentioning
Victoria Cross
Medal — 11/01/1918
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent served in the 9th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, part of the 110th Brigade of the 21st Division. On 30th of September 1917 the Battalion marched up to Polygon Wood, which was captured by Australian Divisions a few days before. The Battalion took up positions on the right half of the Polygon Sector, just outside the wood where they dug in. In the morning of the 1st of October 1917. at 4.40 a.m., a German barrage came down on their positions. At 5.25 a.m., the Germans attacked, coming from Joist Farm and Cameron Covert, setting up a smoke screen. The first wave was stopped due to machine gun- and rifle fire from “A” Company. The second wave managed to penetrate the lines on the left flank. The situation looked threatening as “A” Company commenced to fall back. Lt.-Col. Bent, commanding “D” Company decided to organize a counterattack to recover their lost positions. He was killed in action while leading the counterattack between Polygon Wood and Joist Farm. Due to this counterattack, the German second wave attack came to a halt. His remains were never recovered due to the muddy condition of the ground and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for this action. At 9.30 a.m. reinforcements arrived and were sent to the front line and the right flank. The Germans were heavily shelling Polygon Wood during the day and deployed airplanes to shell the front line. A corporal was able to take down an airplane with a Lewis machine gun. There was a lot of German activity and movement on the front, but after the barrage at 4 p.m. their movements stopped. The Battalion was relieved at 11 p.m. on the 5th of October 1917 by the 9th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and moved back to the camps.

Files 1

Sources 8

"In Memory and in Mourning - Tyne Cot Cemetery & Memorial", Chapman P. , Barnsley, Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2016, pg. 128
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 96
Sources used
"The Tigers - 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th (Service) Battalions of the Leicestershire Regiment.", Richardson M. Barnsley, Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2000, pg. 196-200.
Sources used
"VC's of the First World War, Passchendaele 1917", Snelling S., Wrens Park Publishing, 2000, pg. 163-166
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary Leicestershire Regiment 9th. Bn.
Further reference

More information 3