CHARLES HENRY BENHAM

 

Born: 1st June 1874, Ipswich.

Died: 8th November 1916; age: 42; at Hamrun Military Hospital, Malta, of Hepatic Abscess.

Residence: 27, Sackville Road, Hove, East Sussex.

 

Joined as a Territorial Officer in 1908, he volunteered for service aboard, and proceeded to Salonika as Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Embarked from the Port of London on board Hospital Ship ‘ Gascon’ arrived 7th December 1915 at Salonika.

Promoted to Major – 18th April 1916.

 

Date of Entry Therein: 1st November 1915.

 

Charles contracted fever in the course of his military duty – on the 29th September 1916 he was first admitted to the 29th General Hospital with Dysentery. On the 8th October 1916 he was transferred on board the Hospital Ship ‘Essequibo’ to Hamrun Military Hospital. His illness did not improve, by late October the diagnosis was amended to amoebic abscess of the liver.

 

Rank: Major.

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.

 

Buried 9th November 1916, service conducted by the Reverend Ernest Edmonds-Smith, Senior Forces Chaplain, Malta.

 

Grave Reference:

D.XVI.1.

Pieta Military Cemetery,

Northern Harbour,

Malta.

 

CENSUS

 

1881   Museum Street, Ipswich.

 

Charles was 6 years old and living with his father & maternal spinster aunt.

Henry James Benham, 33, a General Practitioner – M.D., born Marylebone, Middlesex.

Ada Matilda Adnams, 27, born Aldermaston, Berkshire.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

1 general domestic servant.

 

In 1881, Charles’s mother Eleanor was visiting her parents at their farm – 28, Maldon Road, Witham, Essex.

George Adnams, 62, a Farmer of 120 acres – employing 8 men & 4 women, born Thatcham, Berkshire.

Ann Adnams (nee Underhill), 65, born Oxford.

Annie Charlotte Adnams, 23, born Aldermaston, Berkshire.

Eleanor Ann Benham (nee Adnams), 33, wife of M.D., born Aldermaston.

Ann’s sister Mary Elizabeth Thomasin (nee Underhill), 63, a widow, born Oxford.

1 farm servant.

1 general domestic servant.

 

1891   35, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

 

Charles was 16 years old, a Scholar. He was a Boarder at the family home of 47 year old, Robert Edmund Younger, a retired Chemist.

 

1901   72, Sackville Road, Hove, East Sussex.

 

Charles was 26 years old, a Medical Practitioner – own account. He was married and Head of the Household.

Alexandra, 28.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

 

1911   27, Sackville Road, Hove, East Sussex.

 

Charles was 36 years old, a Medical Practitioner – own account – at home. He was Head of the Household, his sister-in-law was a visitor.

Alexandra, 38.

Mary, 9.

Wilfred, 5.

Harold, 2.

Clio Zoe Philomene Roussin, 28, a Trained Nurse – Nursing Home in London, born Notting Hill, London.

1 cook.

1 parlour maid.

1 children’s nurse.

 

In circa 1887, Charles’s parents and sisters left Ipswich to make Paris, France their home.

 

Charles’s mother, Eleanor Ann Benham died 1915, Paris, France. His father, Henry James Benham re-married in 1922, at Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland, to Eleanor’s sister, Annie Charlotte Adnams.

 

In 1900, at Christ Church, New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, Charles married Alexandra Alice Marina Roussin, born 1872, Norwood, Surrey.

They had 4 children:

Mary Underhill Benham, born November 1901, Hove.

Wilfred Earnshaw Benham, born August 1905, Hove.

Harold Walter Benham, born September 1908, Hove.

Graham Harvey Benham, born March 1912, Hove.

 

Alexandra’s father, Louis Roussin, a Gentleman Merchant born in Greece, was granted his Certificate of Naturalisation, on the 30th June 1875. Alexandra, aged 3, and her brother, Leander Gaspard Roussin, aged 4, were listed as children of Louis Roussin.

 

Charles’s medals were sent to his widow, Alexandra at her home – 3, Sunningfields Crescent, Hendon, North West London.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Alexandra Alice Marina Benham – widow.

 

Probate to Alexandra Alice Marina Benham – widow.

 

Charles is also remembered on the war memorial at Hove Library, East Sussex and Ipswich School war memorial.

 

Extracts of minutes from Hova Ecclesia Lodge 1466 courtesy of Secretary John Blackman:

There are occasions when something notable occurs and is therefore mentioned, such as relief funds, donations to worthy causes, which there were a number during the 14-18 War.

 

Mr Charles Henry Benham was a member of the Hova Ecclesia Lodge I can confirm that he was 33 years old when he was Initiated (1st degree) that taking place on February 14th, 1908, at the Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton. He was then Passed (2nd degree) on March 13th 1908 and then Raised (3rd degree) April 10th, 1908. 

 

He served the lodge as Inner Guard 1908-09, Junior Deacon 1909-10Senior Deacon 1910-11, Junior Warden 1911-12, Senior Warden 1912-13, Worshipful Master 1913-14 and Immediate Past Master 1914-15 and again in 1916 until he sailed.

 

A mention in the Lodge minutes of Thursday May 13th 1915 that the IPM (Charles Benham) who was sailing this day for Salonika having been attached to the 29th forward base hospital RAMC.

 

A mention in the Lodge minutes of March 16th 1916 on the 1st rising “The SW proposed that the collection that evening be sent to the Mayor of Hove for the fund which he is raising for the hospital at Salonika, in response to the request of W.Bro. C H Benham” this was seconded by the JW and carried.

 

The minutes of the Lodge dated December 14th 1916 stated that the Worshipful Master rose and referred in sympathetic terms to the death of W.Bro. C. H. Benham whilst on active service November 9th 1916 died in Malta, expressing the deep sympathy of all the Brethren with the widow and children in then sad bereavement. He said that he in the name of the Lodge had written an expression of their sympathy to Mrs Benham and now proposed a resolution “that the Brethren of the Lodge desire to place in the minutes an expression of sympathy with the family of the late Bro. In their bereavement, and of the loss sustained by the Lodge by the death of W.Bro. C. H. Benham” this was seconded by W.Bro. E. H. Enys and carried in silence, the Brethren upstanding.

Posted in First World War

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