Henry Clifton BENTE

Year of Birth:  1899

Place of Birth:  Preston, Victoria

Date of Enlistment:  1 May 1917

Date and Place of Embarkation:  14 June 1917, Sydney, New South Wales

Ship:  HMAT Hororata A20

Rank:   Private

Unit(s):  41st  Australian Infantry Battalion – 7 to 9 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  3271

Died:  29 April 1918


Private Henry Clifford Bente – photo courtesy John Oxley Library, SLQ


Henry Clifton Bente was born in 1899 in Preston, Victoria to Henry Nicholas Bente from Bremen, Germany and Sarah Jane Morrison.  His sister Dorothy Gertrude Caroline was born in Queensland in 1901 followed by Victor David (1904).  Henry Snr was a miner in the Chillagoe area as were both his sons.

Henry Clifton Bente was as Miner at the United North Australia Mine at Watsonville. He enlisted in Cairns on 1 May 1917 with the written permission of both his parents as he was only 18 years 6 months of age. He was residing at the Post Office, Watsonville, Via Herberton Nth. Qld.  He was 5 feet 5 ½ inches in height, weighed 126 pounds with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.  He was Church of England.  He named his mother Mrs Sarah Bente, Post Office, Watsonville, Nth Qld., as his next of kin. Henry attended the Watsonville State School.

He embarked on the HMAT Hororata from Sydney on 14 June 1917 and arrived in Liverpool, England on 26 August 1917. While in England he was admitted sick to hospital where he remained for almost a month.  He was discharged to duty and joined his battalion and left Southampton on 1 January 1918 for Rouelles in France.  He was wounded in action 24 April 1918 and admitted to hospital at Etertat, France where he died of his wounds 5 days later.

Henry Clifton Bente was buried at Etretat Churchyard Extension Cemetery, Etretat, Le Have, Haute-Normandie, France.  His belongings were to be returned to his family and were aboard the S.S. “Baranga” which on 15 July 1918 was sunk by a German submarine 150 miles south west of the Scilly Isles. The ship was carrying 855 Australian soldiers, mainly invalids, home to Australia. The survivors were transferred to escorting destroyers and taken to Plymouth. The SS Barunga had been the German ship Sumatra captured in Sydney at the outbreak of war.


HMAT Hororata A20 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Roll of Honour Circular. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial


Cairns Post – 1 May 1919 p4


Henry’s sister Dorothy. She married James Patrick Buckley. Dorothy died in Cairns 1983. Ancestry.com


Online Resources

Qld Birth Death & Marriage Index

Photograph of HMAT Hororata A20, Australian War Memorial

NAA:  B2455 Bente, Henry Clifton, National Archives Australia

Australian War Memorial

Photograph H C Bente, John Oxley Library, State Library of Qld – One Search

Cairns Post 1 May 1919 p4

Information about S.S. ‘Barunga’


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please contact the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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