Lt George Bennett


Lieutenant George Bennett of Special List and Royal Army Service Corps killed 21/11/1920. Certainly Collins believed that Ames and Bennett were the leaders of the Cairo Gang. At the head of Thornton’s list were the Cairo Gang "leaders", Colonel Aimes and Major Bennett, two men with whom he had become ‘great friends’ in Kidd’s Back, a bar off off Wicklow Street, in Dublin. Bennett's seniority was not high at HH, and appears to be onlty a Lt

Buried in a CWGC grave at Kensal Green (St Marys Roman Catholic Cemetery). Temp Capt George Bennett was the son of J W Bennett of Bournemouth

Educated at Sherborne and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took an honours in Law. At the outbreak of war he joined Motor Transport for a few weeks (I assume that like his father and older brother he was a mechanical engineer). And afterwards served with the intellegence department in Holland. After the war he was asked to rejoin the intellegence department for service in Ireland.

Gleeson has him as "late of Royal Artillery", a native of Bournemouth, Hants

1892 Born Baravia, Java (modern Jakarta). His father was an engineer and his mother Dutch, so one can conclude that the parents met in Batavia, and probably married there. From the ages of the children one can see that the parents were in Java during the period 1884 to 1893. They had returned too England by 1894 when their yougest child was born.

1901 census Bennett

1901 census James William Bennett and family at 'Harwood', Lindsey Road, Branksome, Bournemouth, Dorset:.

1909 Apr/Jun death recorded of his father James William Bennett born about 1851 was registered in Poole, Dorset.

1911 census

1911 Census has a George Bennett born about 1893 in Batavia but a British subject, living with his widowed mother Maria Bennett born about 1860 in Batavia, a Dutch subject. Note Bennett served with Intelligence in Holland during WW1. They are staying at 33 Suffolk Road Bournemouth. This is 25 miles from Sherborne, where he should have been attending school, but Easter was April 16th in 1911 and the census was 2nd April, so he may well have been on his Easter holidays. His brother William, is a mechanical engineer, living as a lodger in Newcastle upon Tyne

Educated at Sherborne School from December 1906 to 1911 (VI; Head of School; Digby Maths and Sciences, 1910; Sherborne Exhibitor, 1911)

1911 Magdalen College, Oxford. after which he was employed as Engineer.

1912 elected to a Junior Demyship‎ at Magdalen College (30th of 35) for proficiency in Natural Sciences (value not exceeding £80) (from OUC 1912 p.349:) .

A demyship is a form of scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford. It is derived from demi-socii or half-fellows (being historically entitled to half the allowance awarded to Fellows). When the college was founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete, the Founder ordained that in addition to forty senior scholars, or Fellows, there should be thirty poor scholars, commonly called Demies, of good morals and dispositions fully equipped for study.

1913. Demyship continued (23rd of 35). He got a third in Maths Mods n 1913

1914 Demyship continued (14th of 35)

1915. Degree List, BA Easter and Trinity Term 1915. Trinity 1915 Public Examinations: Jurisprudence Class IV (ibid., p.221)‎.

1915. from the section on Magdalen College, BA 1915 (marked with two vertical bars as a former Demy) (also marked with an A as being on military service).

He joined up in ASC then transferred to Intelligence Corps for some time as Captain at GHQ, Staff, France

bennett medal card bennett medal card back
A. Maude applies for his medals 22.7.21 from Lesser Knowlesthorpe, Canterbury. This may be his eldest sister

1916 Aug 14 Commissioned into A.S C

1916 Aug 14 to 1917 Oct 23 on Special List

1917 Oct 23 Special Appointment Graded for purposes of pay as a Staff Lt 2nd Cl (Class HH) , Temp. 2nd Lt. G. Bennett, A.S.C., and to be transfd. to Gen. List.Gazette

1918 Feb 14 to 1918 Aug 25 acting Capt while specially employed (Special List) On the 27 Nov 1919 Army List

1918 Aug 25 Special Appointment Temp. Lt. G. Bennett, Gen. List, to be acting. Capt. whilst holding a Spec. Appt. Gazette

1918 Nov 28 Commands & Staff Army List. Class HH Bennett, Temp Lt. G 28 Oc t17

1918 Dec 30 Mentioned in Despatches in London Gazette of 30 December 1918

spwcial appointment

1919 Jan 15. Special Appointment Class. HH—Temp. Lt. G. Bennett, Gen. List, relinquishes his appt. and the actg. rank of Capt. Gazette

1920 Jun 2. Special Appointment Class. HH.—temp Lt. G. Bennett, Gen. List. Gazette . These gradings like HH (which was higher than II) covered a wide variety of tasks, ranging from liaison officers with the French and other allies, to intelligence officers at various levels of HQ, military missions to Russia, independent forces such as the East Persia Cordon, and admin jobs such as Town Major or Post Commandant in various theatres of war. Also on the Special appointments on that Gazette entry are with Class II, Capt. A. White, D.S.O., 4th E. Surr. R., Spec. Res. and Temp. Lt. R. D. Jeune, Gen. List.

Two members of the Cairo Gang, Lt. Peter Ashmun Ames and Captain George Bennett were shot and killed, following a short gun battle, after a sympathetic maid let their attackers into 38 Upper Mount Street.

The following IRA men appear to have been involved here:-

Vinny Byrne asked to see Lieutenant Peter Ames and Lieutenant George Bennett at the door of 38 Upper Mount Street. The maid was obliging, pointing out the rooms where both men slept. Byrne sent Tom Ennis with some men to the back room and he went to the front parlour himself.

As I opened the folding-doors, the officer, who was in bed, was in the act of going for his gun under his pillow. Doyle and myself dashed into the room, at the same time ordering him to put up his hands, which he did. Doyle dashed around by the side of the bed, and pulled a Colt .45 from beneath the pillow. Right behind us came Frank Saurin and he started collecting from papers etc., which was his job. I remember looking into a drawer and seeing a Sinn Fein tie there and, if I am not mistaken, photographs of the 1916 leaders. I ordered the British officer to get out of bed. He asked me what was going to happen and I replied : ‘Ah, nothing.’ I then ordered him to march in front of me… I marched my officer down to the back room where the other officer was. He was standing up in the bed, facing the wall. I ordered mine to do likewise. When the two of them were together I thought to myself ‘The Lord have mercy on your souls ! ’ I then opened fire with my Peter. They both fell dead.

Bennett was found with a small wound at the top and a larger wound at the back of the head, one on the front of the chest, three in the back and two wounds onthe right forearm. The inquest did not specify which were entry and which were exit wounds.

Hansard reports 38, Upper Mount-street. Two murders This house was entered at 9.10 a.m. by twenty armed, unmasked men who were let in by a servant, Catherine Farrell, who unwillingly and under constraint pointed out the rooms occupied by Lieutenant Aimes, of the Grenadier Guards, and Lieutenant Bennett, of the R.A.S.C., Motor Transport. The maid rushed upstairs and warned an officer who was sleeping on the upper floor, and another male lodger, that murder was being done downstairs. A fusilade of shots was heard. When they came down-stairs they found two bodies in a pool of blood in Aimes's bedroom. Bennett had evidently been dragged from the bedroom in his bedclothes into his brother officer's room where both were shot together, their bodies lying side by side.

The notification of his death in The Times stated that he was the son of the late J W Bennett of 'Harwood', Branksome Park, Bournemouth. Death cert for G Bennett died Oct - Dec 1920, Dublin South, vol 2, p 513

bennett officers long list

Patrick Moran was hanged for Bennett's murder on 14th March 1921, but was in fact involved in the Gresham Hotel murders that day

Cairo Gang

A Captain Bennett mentioned in 'Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence' by Jeremy Wilson. I have no idea if it is the same man, since there is no first initial given and 'Bennett' is quite a common name on the Army List. The book also does not mention what the 'Hedgehog' Staff was.
Special liaison staff GHQ Cairo ‘Hedgehog’ Staff March 1918
Colonel Dawnay GSO 1
Captain Pratt Barlow GSO 3
Major Wordie DAQMG
Captain Bennett Staff Captain

Hejaz Operations.[In April, 1918, became S.S.O. Northern Hejaz Operations. Lt.-Col. A.G.C, Dawnay was  appointed G.S.O.I.H.Q. Hejaz Operations on 5 November 1917.] 6 December 1916 - Lt.-Col. T.E. LAWRENCE (S.S.O.).