Date of birth: 1923
Date of death: 12.9.1944
Regiment: Green Howards (Yorkshire)
Family information: Son of John and Ethel Grace Wroe
Service number: 271922
Benjamin was in the Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) and was Lieutenant 271922. He was killed on 12th September 1944 aged 21. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states that he was the son of John and Ethel Grace Wroe and nephew of Mr G Wroe of Wrenthorpe.
The Green Howards took part in the D Day Landings in June 1944; however it was not until 12th September that Benjamin was killed. Following his death, Benjamin’s probate was proved on 20th June 1945.
“WROE Benjamin of Melbourne House Lodge Wrenthorpe Wakefield died 12 September 1944 on war service. Probate Wakefield 20 June to George Wroe farmer and David Pliny Mosby solicitor. Effects £8791 6s and 7d”
This was an incredibly large amount of money to leave for a 21-year-old and was probably his legacy from his parents – perhaps he inherited Melbourne House.
Although Benjamin’s father John had three sisters, it is his brother George who is the only one mentioned on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records which seems to suggest that Benjamin came under his guardianship. George himself died on 24th March 1957 and his probate was to the value of £12,978 7s and 2d – again a large amount for the time when an average wage was about £10 a week.
He is commemorated at the Geel War Cemetery.
Benjamin was the direct descendent of the infamous Prophet Wroe who established the Christian Isrealite Church in Bradford, before moving to Wakefield and buying Melbourne House at the end of Brandy Carr Road, Wrenthorpe as their headquarters.
The Army Roll of Honour states that his birthplace was Derbyshire and his birth was registered with his mother’s maiden name as Argyle in the Belper District in the first quarter of 1923. His parents had been married on 21st August 1919 at St Anne’s Church, Wrenthorpe. John was a farmer of Melbourne House Farm and Ethel was from Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire. I haven’t found any other births with mother’s maiden name Argyle so I presume he was an only child.
In 1933 – 1935 Ethel Grace Wroe was, according to the electoral register, living at Melbourne House, Wrenthorpe, with the only other Wroe on the electoral roll being George Wroe of Mansion Farm, Wrenthorpe. In 1932 the register shows John Wroe also living at Melbourne House but he had died that same year. Benjamin would not have been eligible to vote.
Benjamin’s father John died aged 52 in 1932 and I found his probate stating he died in Clayton Hospital on 18th January 1932. In 1934 his mother Ethel also died aged just 47 leaving Benjamin an orphan at the age of 11. Presumably this was one of the reasons he was sent to Silcoates School which was a private boarding school in Wrenthorpe.