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Lance Corporal J B A Bennett

 
 

Claro Times 27th February 1915

Lance Corporal J B A Bennett, 20th Hussars, of Clarendon Cottage, Harrogate, who has been honoured with the Distinguished Conduct Medal for coolness, gallantry, and exceptionally good work during the operations of October 23rd November 4th near Messines, returned home on sick leave on Thursday from the Front. He was met at the station by the mayor, Aldermen and Councillors, accompanied by the mace-bearer. The Mayor made a short speech at the station, congratulating Bennett on his gallantry, and assuring him of the pride with which his native town viewed the feats he had accomplished. Lance Corporal Bennett is one of three sons of Mr Bennett now serving in the Army. He was presented with the Distinguished Conduct Medal by His Majesty the King early in December last.

 

Harrogate Herald 3rd March 1915

A large crowd assembled at the Harrogate Railway Station on Thursday, when a civic welcome was accorded Corporal Bennett as he stepped off the 3.7 train from London having obtained several days' leave.

Corporal Bennett was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, which was pinned on his breast by the King when His majesty was in France. This medal was sent home to his parents for them to take care of, and was pinned on the breast of Corporal Bennett after he alighted. Corporal Bennett had no inkling of the welcome in store for him when he reached his native town, and the young soldier was taken wholly by surprise, and showed it.

A space was cleared on the platform, and here the Mayor, Alderman Sheffield, wearing his chain of office, accompanied by the Town Clerk and the Mace Bearer, received Bennett. The Mayor congratulated Corporal Bennett upon winning the medal, and, after mentioning that his conduct did credit to the town, expressed the hope that he would live long to wear the medal.

There was then handshaking, and finally Corporal Bennett drove off with the Mayor's carriage, on the box-seat of which sat the Mace bearer, amid a salvo of cheers from the spectators.

 

Harrogate Herald - 3rd March 1915

W H Breare letter

We are at all times simmering with patriotism and pride in our soldiers. Sometimes the occasion comes when it is a relief to bubble over. The sight of a mud-stained, weather-beaten warrior from the trenches, even, sets the pot a-boiling. An arm in a sling, a chap on crutches, and the fire of sympathy glows with a warmth that does us good.

Thursday afternoon the moment arrived when we could really let ourselves go. At ten minutes past three the Harrogate Station was crowded by a throng beaming with pleasurable anticipation. His Worship the Mayor, Alderman Sheffield, was there, the Town Clerk, Mr J Turner Taylor, Councillors, and other people. The occasion suggested history. Someone was expected. That was evident. Who could it be? The train glided in. the press of people, after a moment's hesitation, surged in one direction. The centre of gravity was a carriage door, the object of interest a young soldier bronzed and attained, just as he had left the trenches a few hours before. A cheer, a rush, and the station was alight with beaming faces. The young soldier drew back surprised, flushing with modesty. A merciful crowd brought him temporary relief. He was screened. It was Corporal Bennett, who had won the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was the first hero, in evidence, over whom Harrogate could let itself go. What a moment for the modest soldier. It was almost too much for him, and I don't wonder. Here he was being received by the Mayor, Town Clerk, official and unofficial Harrogate, with all the fervour and distinction that could be accorded to Royalty, genius, military or naval conquerors. Nor was that all. The Mayor's carriage was drawn up outside, and in this, accompanied by His Worship, the Mace Bearer on the box, Bennett, his father, and a young man, his brother, I imagine, were driven to his home, where the mother awaited his coming. What a moment for the proud parents who had directed the toddling feet towards the amount of achievement!

 

Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

W H Breare letter

By the way, you may not be able to locate and identify Max Stanton Linder, whose name you have seen several times in the Herald. He is not a Harrogate man, but Canadian, and an orphan, who is fighting for the old country. He is a friend of Mr John Bennett and family, whose son, you will remember, won the DCM. He was wounded and in hospital, some time ago, but is all right now. Private Charles Bennett is another one of the Bennett family; quite a while ago he received six shrapnel wounds in the head, eye, shoulder, and knee. He has recovered long since from his wounds, but they have left him with rather a bad cough. Another brother, Archie, is still in training in England.

 

Harrogate Herald - 24th January 1917

The following are men who have sent us the Army post-card briefly stating that they are well and have received papers and parcels, or whose letters contain views that have repeatedly been expressed by other correspondents, but show their friends that they are all right :

J B A Bennett

 

Harrogate Herald - 28th March 1917

W H Breare letter

I have had a letter from J B A Bennett, enclosing a photograph of himself and Sergeant Kaye, whom he knew in peace time. Kaye has joined Bennett's machine gun squadron. You will remember that Bennett is Harrogate's first DCM. He is in excellent health, and wishes to be remembered to all his Harrogate friends and those at the Front who are not near him.

 

Harrogate Herald - 28th March 1917

The following are men who have sent us the Army post-card briefly stating that they are well and have received papers and parcels, or whose letters contain views that have repeatedly been expressed by other correspondents, but show their friends that they are all right :

Private J B A Bennett

 

Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918

Letters

J B A Bennett, Harrogate's first DCM winner, son of Mr and Mrs Bennett, of College Road, Harlow Hill, Harrogate, has been promoted full Corporal. His brother, he writes, who was in the 20th Hussars, has been transferred to the 4th Hussars, so I don't see much of him now. I wish you and all you staff and the kind ladies who address the papers, and the people of Harrogate a peaceful and happy New Year. This leaves me in the best of health and spirits.

 

Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918

W H Breare letter

I have received the names of more local men who were at Mons. Bombardier F Cooper, Royal Field Artillery, of 142a King's Road, went out in August, 1914, with the Regular Army, and was in France until wounded at the early part of last year, and is now at North Wareham. R H Oram was the only Harrogate lad with the Scottish Rifles at Mons. Sergeant A Burrows, son of Mr S Burrows, Plompton, Knaresborough, was with the Army Service Corps that arrived in Belgium on August 10th, 1914. He was there and in France for three years and four months, and is now in Italy. Naval Air Mechanic J H Graves, son of Mr and Mrs H H Graves, of Fewston, was acting as driver for the Army Service Corps at Mons, and is entitled to the medal. Corporal S S Coop (Lancers), son of Mrs Coop, 21 North Lodge Avenue, New Park, Harrogate, is another local soldier that fought at Mons. The first Harrogate man to win the DCM, Private J A B Bennett (who, by the way, is now full corporal in a cavalry bride), and Sergeant Kay, who were formerly with the 20th Hussars and 6th Dragoon Guards respectively, are both Mons men. Lance Corporal Randall E Robinson, who has had four birthdays at the Front, and whose parents reside at Westcliffe Terrace, is another. He has been right through the war and wounded once.