Captain Philip Dennis Bennett, 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died at home in Edgbaston on 24th February 1919 as a result of influenza.
He was born in Edgbaston on 11th July 1891 and was the only son of parents, Archibald Somerville Bennett (a solicitor) and Laura (née Chamberlain) who had married in 1889. The couple also had a daughter, Margaret Helen, born in 1890, who married Frederick Bernard Clark in 1923.
Philip was educated at West House School, Edgbaston, before progressing to Streete Court, Westgate-on-Sea and then to Rugby School. At Rugby he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. He became an architect and, in January 1914, was awarded the Grissell Prize and Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The prize was awarded annually for drawings illustrating architectural construction.
He joined the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Territorial Force, in 1910 as a Second Lieutenant. He was promoted Lieutenant in November 1915, and Captain in June 1915. He volunteered for overseas service on the declaration of war and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from March 1915.
He married at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street, on 17th August 1915 and had two children with his wife, Doris May, elder daughter of Arthur L. Lowe, CBE, Registrar at Birmingham County Court who lived at Monkspath Hall in the parish. The wedding ceremony was performed by Rev. Dr. Robert Wilson,Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church, Tanworth-in-Arden. He had previously been Headmaster of Solihull Grammar School 1879-1908.
The couple’s son, Dennis Labron Bennett, was born on 21st November 1917. He died, aged 24, during the Second World War whilst serving as a Captain with the Staffordshire Yeomanry in Egypt. Philip Bennett also had a posthumously-born daughter, Philippa Mary, who was born on 22nd November 1919.
Captain Bennett was invalided home in January 1916 and, on recovery, was attached to the 3rd Battalion. His mother died in April 1918 after being involved in a fatal car accident. Philip died at his father’s home, 22 Augustus Road, Edgbaston, although probate records give his usual residence as 52 Farquhar Road, Edgbaston. He is buried at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street, although he is not listed on the parish war memorial. His is commemorated on war memorials at Streete Court School, Rugby School, and St Augustine’s Church, Edgbaston.
His widow married Ian Forbes Panton in 1922 and was widowed for a second time when he died in 1935. The couple had one daughter, Ann Forbes Panton (1926-1967). Doris died in London in 1951, aged 59.
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