War dead Male Born 6/7/1890 Died 11/2/1919
Member of the staff at the Public Record Office.
Andrew Behan has researched Benstead: Private Leonard Richard Smith Benstead, M.M., was born on 6 July 1890 in Soho, Westminster, the eldest of the three sons of Leonard James Benstead and Maria Jane Benstead née Roots. His father was a Plasterer & Paper Hanger. On 7 September 1890 he was baptised at St Ann's Church, Soho and the 1891 census shows him living with his parents and paternal grandmother at 1 Bateman's Buildings, Soho. The census of 1901 shows the family living at 28 Denmark Street, St Giles but by the time of the 1911 census they had moved to 28 Mornington Road, Camden Town, at which point his occupation was recorded as a Clerk - Booksellers.
In March 1915 he enlisted in the 15th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles) and his service number was 3314. In 1917, when all army personnel were renumbered, his service number became 531079. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He died, aged 28 years, from pneumonia on 11 February 1919 at the New End Military Hospital, New End, Hampstead. He was buried in Plot 8H, Grave Number 191, at the St Pancras Cemetery, 278 High Road, London, N2 9AG. At the time of his death his family address was 62 Patshull Road, Kentish Town. On 5 July 1919 his army effects totalling £3-4s-1d, together with a war gratuity of £22-0s-0d were forwarded to his father, who on 23 September 1919 was granted administration of his estate and his effects totalled £199-6s-3d. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal.