| 1882 - 1944|
||28 Jul 1882
||Farningham, Kent 
||Lived in South Africa 
||Underberg, Natal, South Africa
||12 Jul 1944
||Stalag 4B - captured at Tobruk (21 June 1942 35, 000 surrendered to Rommel) 
||The Bird Tree
||10 May 2013 |
||William Cole Benson, b. 3 Aug 1850, Islington East, Middx , d. 3 Mar 1898, Camperdown, Natal, South Africa |
||Marion Eliza Johnson, b. 28 Feb 1847, Milton, Gravesend, Kent , d. 11 Oct 1929, 12 The Crescent, Barnes, Mortlake, Richmond, Surrey |
||9 Apr 1874
||Saint Matthew, Redhill, Surrey
» Slide Show
||BENSON LINE – setting the scene|
The Benson branch of my tree starts around 1750 in Passenham, Northamptonshire with the birth of Thomas Benson. In 1771 he probably married Mary Littleford before going on to have six children.
||CWGC - Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery |
Hugh Benson, who fought in three wars and who was given a military funeral by the Germans in a German POW camp, is remembered on this memorial.
||Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)|
At one point I thought Hugh Benson may have been awarded the DCM during action in WW1, but this turned out not to be the case.
||Hugh 'Pop' Benson (1882 - 1944)|
Corporal Hugh 'Pop' Benson OBE, Major, MC .... or perhaps not ? After fighting in three wars, he died aged 62 in a POW camp, given military honours by friend and foe alike. He was "generous to a fault, kindly, and often took guard duties and unpleasant chores away from younger chaps in the Regiment." A fascinating story.
||Military Cross (MC)
According to the July 1967 RDLI regimental magazine called "FLASH", Hugh BENSON had received the MC during WW1. I have found nothing to corroborate this.
||South African Military History Society |
I was trawling through the internet as you do and copied this article (http://samilitaryhistory.org/3/d03mayne.html) about a striking and most unusual talk by Professor Philip Everitt entitled Bagged but Cheerful: A POW at Tobruk. Little did I know at the time that the British POW being given the military funeral was Hugh 'Pop' Benson.
||STALAG 1V B|
Hugh Benson was in this POW camp up until his death on 12th July 1944. Stalag 4B was in Mulhberg, Germany south of Berlin, north east of Leipzig and north west of Dresden.
||The Mount, Sparepenny Lane, Farningham, Dartford DA4 0JH
Sparepenny Lane got its name in the 18th century when you could spare a penny by using the lane instead of the toll road at the other end of the village. The Mount is one of three large manor houses in the village.
||World War 2|
These relatives gave their lives for their country and are remembered
||Royal Durban Light Infantry |
1st battalion of the Royal Durban Light Infantry
A lot has been written about these battles but little did I know at the time but I had relatives from both my adopted and birth families taking part.