A BRAVE solider who lost his life while fighting in the Great War has been immortalised on a new Maldon estate.

Ben Cobey, who was a driver for the Royal Field Artillery, died aged 19 in August 1914.

He was killed while saving a second gun of the 37th Battery during the “great retreat” from advancing German Infantry at Le Cateau.

Now his heroic deed will be remembered forever more after his moniker was given to Ben Cobey Avenue at the under construction Linden Homes site off Spital Road.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Ben was born in Church Street, Maldon, in March 1895 and enlisted into the army in his teens.

He sailed from Ireland and arrived in France on August 19, 1914, before going into action at Mons on August 24.

The soldiers came under fire from the Germans for 12 hours and were ordered to mount their horses.

Ben was shot out of the saddle while saving the gun.

It took nine months to notify his family of his death.

His colleagues – drivers Frederick Luke and Job Henry Charles Drain and Captain Douglas Reynolds all received VCs.

Last Thursday Ben’s nephew Bill Francis, 72, and great-nephew, and namesake, Ben Cobey Francis, 23, travelled from Yorkshire to see the tribute unveiled.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Bill said: “We are over the moon, it was absolutely perfect. The weather was lovely, and it was a great honour to be here.

“Ben was born exactly 100 years apart from his great uncle. The predicted birthdate was March 10.

“Of course, he was late by three days but here we are. We thought there’s something going on up there.”

Ben said: “It’s been amazing, the amount of work it must have taken to do this has left me feeling so proud.

“Of course, I’ve grown up hearing all the stories of him. It’s a great way to honour him.”

The family were joined by district council chairman Henry Bass and various councillors from Maldon District and Maldon Town councils.

Mr Bass said: “We are here today to acknowledge the life of a fallen soldier from Maldon.

“I would like to thank the members of the town and district council who have lobbied hard to ensure Ben Cobey is remembered and recognised on the war memorial in Maldon.”

Robert Church, managing director of Linden Homes Eastern said: “Honouring such a heroic figure of the area has really helped bring together a sense of old meets new at our Limebrook development.

“We are delighted to be able to mark the legacy of a public figure from the wartime and commemorate Ben Cobey’s story which also adds a rather nice touch of history to our new homes available in Maldon.”