The Search for G R Bennett

The very first name on the memorial, G R Bennett, had long been a mystery to us and others researching the memorial names. There was just one Bennet in the Patterdale Census Returns up to 1911 (a 15 years old Domestic Servant in 1891) and only a couple in the Parish Registers, but no connection with a G R Bennett could be found. Furthermore, he is not listed on the Roll of Honour in Glenridding Public Hall, which would at least have given us a clue to his regiment. All servicemen who had died in WW1 with the surname Bennet(t) and initials G R or G, were researched in detail - a couple showed some promise but no evidence was found to connect them with the area.

Another line of enquiry that was followed was that there must have been a committee set up to erect the memorial and therefore discussions about the names that should be on it. These were probably minuted. Rob Shephard looked through the Parish Council Minutes for the years after the war but, surprisingly, found no mention of it.

A breakthrough came in March 2015, when it was discovered that, in early January 1915, Mrs Marshall of Patterdale Hall had compiled a list of Parishioners serving in His Majesty's Forces, which was published in three of the local newspapers. The Westmorland Gazette listed a Pvt. P. G. Bennett, East Yorks; the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald listed him as Pvt. G. P. Bennett, East Yorks; but the Penrith Observer listed him as Private Grenville Bennett, East Yorkshires.

Extract from the Penrith Observer January 1915

This provided additional information that helped to narrow the search:

We now knew that at least one of his forenames was Grenville or Granville

He enlisted before mid January 1915

He joined the East Yorkshire Regiment.

And of course, we know he died during WW1

A search of the comprehensive Commonwealth War Graves Commission database of WW1 deaths for names with Grenville/Granville Bennett produced the following four possibilities.

L.Cpl. Granville Clayton Bennett 4709 10th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Killed in Action in France 14 Jul 1916 aged 23

Born in Mar 1893, in Great Horton, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, he was the son of William Bottomley Bennett and his wife Lilly. His address at enlistment was given as 62, Langton Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool. The 1911 census records him as a steamship sailor. His service record shows that he enlisted on 3 Jun 1915 in the 10th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment) His medal card lists only the The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

East Yorkshire Regiment -------- NO

Enlisted before mid Jan 1915 --- NO

Pvt. Richard Grenville Bennett 11990 12th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Died in France 12 Oct 1915 aged 17

Born in Toxteth, Liverpool about August 1898. Parents were William and Mary E Bennett of 65, South Street, Dingle, Liverpool. The 12th Bn. was raised at Seaforth on the 1st Sep 1914 and his service number suggests he was one of the first to enlist, even though was he actually only 16. He must have lied about his age to be sent to France on 27 Jul 1915. His medal card lists only the The King's (Liverpool Regiment).

East Yorkshire Regiment -------- NO

Enlisted before mid Jan 1915 --- YES

2nd Lt Robert Granville Bennett, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Killed in Action in Flanders 4 Oct 1917 aged 24

Born in Swinefleet near Goole on the 23 Aug 1893, third son of Herbert Thomas Bennett and his wife Mary. His medal card revealed that he enlisted in the 10th Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment in Hull as a Private 10/727 on the 1st Sep 1914 but was discharged to commission in May 1917 as a 2nd Lt with the KOYLI.

East Yorkshire Regiment -------- YES

Enlisted before mid Jan 1915 --- YES

Pvt. Granville Bennett 2895 8th Australian Machine Gun Corps

Died of wounds in France 16 Oct 1917 aged 17

Born around Feb 1900 in Golborne, Lancashire, son of Frank and Hannah Maria Bennett. He emigrated to Australia with his mother, older brother and younger sister on the 12th Mar 1912 bound for Sydney. He enlisted in Australia on 23 Nov 1915 and sailed from Melbourne on HMAT A.68 (S S Anchises)

East Yorkshire Regiment -------- NO

Enlisted before mid Jan 1915 --- NO

So Robert Granville Bennett appears to be the most probable but his first name is Robert? Further research into his family has shown that both he and his father were keen golfers and, as can be seen from these items in the Hull Daily Mail he appears to go by the name of Granville Bennett.

Golf News - 3 Jun 1910

Condolences from the Goole Chamber of Commerce 1 Dec 1917

If he lived in Goole, how could he be listed as a parishioner of Patterdale on Mrs Marshall's list?

The Bennett family were moderately wealthy, as Granville's father Herbert was the son of John Bennett who established and was Chairman of the Bennett Steamship Company of Goole, which by 1899 had six ships operating between, Goole, London and Boulogne. Both Herbert and his son were keen golfers and members of the nearby Rawcliffe Park Golf Club which was formed in 1900 - Granville is reported to have had one of the lowest handicaps in the area. There are many newspaper reports showing the results of matches they played but Granville's name is absent from results published after February 1912, which could indicate that he had left the area. Some of the obituaries say that he was pursuing a profession in farming. William Hibbert Marshall of Patterdale Hall, who owned very large estates in Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire was born at Enholme Hall near Patrington, east of Hull, and other members of the Marshall family still lived in the area. The Bennetts and Marshalls may well have had similar social circles (such as golf, the Chamber of Commerce, etc), so it is possible that he was invited to spend time as a guest at Patterdale Hall to study farming on the Marshall's estates. This of course is speculation - it would be nice to find some hard evidence that he was in Patterdale between Feb 1912 and Aug 1914. Penrith Golf Club are searching their archives to see if he played there.

Perhaps the Marshall Family archives/papers may contain some evidence of his visit, or even about the war memorial list itself.

Page Editor: Norman Jackson

Page Last Reviewed: 23 Feb 2021