War dead Male Born 1885 Died 26/9/1916
Corporal in the Middlesex Regt.
Andrew Behan has researched this man: Lance Corporal Edward James Benwell was born in Hampstead and his birth was registered in the first quarter of 1885. He was the thirteenth of the fourteen children of Francis Matthew Benwell (1837-1900) and Henrietta Hawkins Benwell, née Donnelly (1846-1898). His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a laundress. He was baptised on 15 February 1885 at Christ Church, Hampstead. His siblings were Caroline Benwell (1863-1940), Elizabeth Benwell (1865-1944), Floret Benwell (1867-1954), Henrietta Benwell (1868-1933), Philip Benwell (1870- ?), Emily Jane Benwell (1871-1907), Sarah Benwell (1873-1926), Ada Benwell (1874-1935), Bertie Benwell (1876-1877), Sidney Benwell (1877- ?), William Francis Benwell (1880-1953), Lena Benwell (1883-1885) and Arthur Benwell (1887-1976). The 1891 census shows him living with his family at Block 2, Back Lane, Hampstead, but by the time of the 1911 census he was living with his sister, Ada, who had married William James Brinklow, and their five children including their son, William James Brinklow, who is also recorded on the Christ Church War Memorial, at 1 Stowe House, North End, Hampstead. His occupation was recorded as a Greengrocer's Assistant.
On 6 July 1915 he enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment in Kilburn, giving his home address as Southgate Cottage, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire and his occupation as a gardener. His service number was G/13494. He was stationed at Colchester, Essex, from 10 July 1915 to 13 September 1915 and at Shoreham, Sussex, from 13 September 1915 until he was transferred to the regiment's 12th Battalion and embarked on 23 September 1915 from Folkestone, Kent, to join the British Expeditionary Force in France. On 30 July 1916 he was appointed as an unpaid Lance Corporal and was killed in action, aged 31 years, on 26 September 1916. As he has no known grave, he is commemorated on Pier and Face 12D and 13B on the Thiepval Memorial, in Somme, France. His army effects totalling £8-17s-1d were divided and sent to 7 of his siblings on 21 May 1917 and his £4-10s-0d war gratuity had to be split to be sent to members of his family on 18 August 1919. He was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal, 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal.