Alick Cole Benson (1879 - 1931)
Alick Benson was born into an upper class family, went to St Paul's School and worked in a lunatic asylum before dying, aged just 51, on a golf course.
Alick was born in Farningham, Kent on 12th December 1879. He was the elder of 3 children. Alick's (on the right in the photo) early childhood was spent living at The Mount, Sparepenny Lane, Farningham, Kent with his brother Hugh (1882) and sister Marjorie (1884). It was an afluent family with 5 servants.
According to my Uncle Tony’s autobiography, "Although she regarded herself as very hard done by and impoverished, my grandmother had been provided, after the separation, with an income sufficient to maintain a house in the Cromwell Road, with three or four resident servants, and to send her two sons to St. Paul’s School." There is evidence that Alick was at St Paul's in 1893 and "Left in Sc. viii. A., April 1897 Trooper in Paget's Horse". I have not been able to find any evidence of Alick going to the Boer War apart from this, although there are records for three "A.Benson" who conceivably could be him.
Anyway, by the time of the 1901 census, Alick (21) was safely back in Fulham living with his "widowed" mother (54) living at 49 Kensington Hall Gardens. He was described as an "articled pupil to analist". However, perhaps due to having less funds, they had no live in servants !
Whether Alick volunteered or was called up for WW1, I haven't discovered. The only reference to him is in the London Gazette in February 1915 when he was promoted to temporary Second Lieutenant in The Army Service Corps. No medal card or service record has yet been found.
His mother died in 1929 and appointed "Lieutenant Colonel Alick ...." as Executor of her Will. He shared an estate of £1,223 equally with his brother and sister (about £58k in todays terms).
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