Frederick Reginald (Reg) BENNETT

Poppy

BENNETT, Frederick Reginald

Service Number: 1860
Enlisted: 17 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion
Born: Magill, South Australia, 2 June 1883
Home Town: Magill, Campbelltown, South Australia
Schooling: Magill Public School
Occupation: Baker
Died: Killed in Action, Mouquet Farm near Pozieres, France, 30 August 1916, aged 33 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Magill Honour Board, Magill War Memorial, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

17 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1860, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
11 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1860, 32nd Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '17' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Borda embarkation_ship_number: A30 public_note: ''
16 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 16th Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1860, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMT Canada, Alexandria
30 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1860, 16th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Help us honour Frederick Reginald Bennett's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography

Born on June 2nd 1883, to Charles Bennett and Jane Bennett (nee Robinson) of Briant Road Magill, Frederick Reginald (Reg) Bennett was the youngest of three children. When he enlisted for the war in Adelaide on August 17th 1915, Bennett was a single, 32 year old baker with no prior experience of war. Hence, by enlisting, Frederick Bennett displayed the ANZAC Spirit of dedication to duty and bravery in choosing to help Britain fight in the war, even at the cost of his own life. Mr Bennett also displayed the ANZAC Spirit of dedication to duty to the Church, by being an active member of Magill Methodist Church, the Church’s Sunday school, choir and tennis club.


Frederick Reginald Bennett commenced his service with the rank of Private and the service number 1860, on August 26th 1915 in Mitcham, South Australia. Bennett was initially part of the B Company, 2nd Depot before being assigned to the A Company, 3rd Depot Battalion.  While Private Bennett was training at Mitcham, he wrote his will. His will appointed his brother, Arthur Thomas Bennett and his brother-in-law, Henry William Barnes, the executors and trustees of his will. His estate at Rosslyn Park, Burnside, would be given to Arthur and his money would be given to his stepsister, Emily Annie Bennett. The residue of his estate would be granted to his sister, Bertha Jane Barnes, and her husband, Henry William Barnes.

From November 1st to December 31st, Private Bennett was part of the 13th Reinforcements of the 10th Battalion, which trained at Morphettville Race Course. Whilst training at Morphettville and Mitcham, Mr Bennett participated in exercises to prepare himself for the war. Exercises included infantry tactics, physical fitness, construction of field defences and bayonet fighting.

On January 1st 1916, Private Bennett joined the 2nd Reinforcements of the 32nd Infantry Battalion (AIF). He then travelled with them to Egypt on January 11th on-board the HMAT A30 Borda.

Upon arrival in Egypt, Private Bennett was allotted to and proceeded to join the 16th Infantry Battalion (AIF) at Zeitoun Training Camp. On March 7th at Tel-El-Kebir, Private Bennett was assigned to the D Company, 4th Brigade, 4th Division of the 16th Battalion.

On June 1st, Private Bennett travelled to Alexandria and joined the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F). Eight days later, he travelled to Marseilles and the Western Front on-board the HMT “Canada”.

Upon arrival at Marseilles, Private Bennett travelled to the Somme Valley and fought at the Battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm.  From the start, it was evident that the spirt of courage, endurance, mateship and perseverance would be required for Private Bennett and his battalion to defend Pozières and Mouquet Farm from the Germans.

The Battle of Pozières occurred in late July 1916 and was the first major action, which Mr Bennett along with the Australian 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions fought in. Australia’s objective in the battle was to capture key positions and wear down the enemy. Over the six weeks spent fighting at the battle, the 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions managed to capture Pozières Village and Pozières Heights. The battle was won on August 7th after the 4th Division defeated the last German counter-attack. However, this victory came at the expense of 23,000 officers and men, a loss comparable with the casualties experienced by the Australians over eight months at Gallipoli.

Mr Bennett’s battalion was involved in the Battle of Mouquet Farm from August 8th until September 3rd 1916. Unfortunately, Mr Bennett did not live to witness the end of the battle on September 26th 1916, when the Germans surrendered to the British. As along with 59 others from his battalion, Private Bennett was killed, aged 33, on August 30th 1916, displaying the ANZAC Spirit of mateship, bravery and sacrifice through his gallant fighting and defending of the Farm.

Private Bennett’s body was never found and he has no known grave. However, he has a place alongside his family at Magill Cemetery and his name is located at number 78 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial. Private Bennett is also honoured by having his name engraved on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in Somme, France.

Due to Private Bennett’s body never being located, there was no record of any casualty relating to Private Bennett and his family received no official notification of his death. Private Bennett’s family were only alerted to his death after seeing his obituary in the October 6th edition of The Adelaide Chronicles Newspaper. After seeing Private Bennett’s obituary, Henry Barnes requested Bennett’s death certificate.

Private Bennett’s obituary contained a quote from a fellow soldier stating: ‘Our officer thought a great deal of Reg and claimed him among the best, as one with very little fear.’  A Memorial Scroll, Plaque and three medals, the 1914-1915 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal, were awarded to Mr Bennett’s next of kin, his father. Private Bennett’s medals, Memorial Scroll, Plaque and obituary, are all a testimony to the ANZAC Spirit of bravery, loyalty, sacrifice and perseverance that he displayed whilst on the Western Front.

 

 

 Bibliography

 

Information:

Barnes, H 1916, Letter requesting details of Private Bennett's Death, Letter, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 28 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Bennett, F 1915, Private Bennett's Attestation Form, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 28 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Bennett, F 1915, Private Bennett's Will, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 28 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Burke, A 2016, The Spirit of ANZAC, ANZAC Day Commemorative Committee, accessed 1 March 2016, <https://anzacday.org.au/spirit-of-anzac>.

 

Commanding Officer 1916, Private Bennett's Casualty Form, Typed Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 7 March 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

100 Years of ANZACS n.d., South Australian Regiments and Battalions, 1914-18, South Australian Government, South Australia, accessed 3 March 2016, <http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/about/south-australian-regiments-and-battalions-1914-18/>.

 

Australian War Memorial n.d., Anzac spirit, Australian War Memorial, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/anzac/spirit/>.

 

Australian War Memorial n.d., 1916: Australians in France, Australian War Memorial, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/ww1/1916/>.

 

Australian War Memorial n.d., Roll of Honour: Frederick Reginald Bennett, Australian War Memorial, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1646496/>.

 

Australian War Memorial n.d., The Anzac Spirit, Australian War Memorial, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/dawn/spirit/>.

 

Australian War Memorial London n.d., Pozières The Battle of the Somme, 1916, Australian War Memorial London, London, accessed 3 March 2016, <http://www.awmlondon.gov.au/battles/Pozières>.

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission n.d., BENNETT, FREDERICK REGINALD, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accessed 3 March 2016, <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1457983/BENNETT,%20FREDERICK%20REGINALD>.

 

National Archives of Australia 1997, Frederick Reginald Bennett's Service Record, Australian Government, accessed 29 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

RSL Virtual Museum n.d., 16th Infantry Battalion (WA/SA), 4th Brigade, 4th Division, AIF, Returned & Services League of Australia SA Branch, South Australia, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/units/40>.

 

RSL Virtual Museum n.d., Memories of Morphettville, Returned & Services League of Australia SA Branch, South Australia, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/campaigns/57>.

 

RSL Virtual Museum n.d., Pozières/Mouquet Farm (World War 1, 23 July 1916 to 4 September 1916), Returned & Services League of Australia SA Branch, South Australia, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/campaigns/5>.

 

The AIF Project n.d., Frederick Reginald BENNETT, UNSW Australia, Canberra, accessed 29 February 2016, <https://aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=20077>.

 

Battle of Pozières n.d., Map, Australian Government, accessed 10 March 2016, <http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/Pozières-australian-memorial/what-happened-here.php>.

 

Mitcham Army Camp 2016, City of Mitcham, accessed 4 March 2016, <http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/mitchamarmycamp>.

 

Private Bennett's Medals 1916, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 27 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Private Bennett's Medical Examination 1915, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 27 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Private Bennett's Memorial Plaque and Scroll Slip, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 27 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Private Bennett's Movement Record 1915, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 27 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Private Bennett's Movement Record 1916, Written Document, Nation Archives of Australia, accessed 27 February 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3081757>.

 

Tel-El-Kebir n.d., Don't Forget the Diggers, accessed 6 March 2016, <http://www.dontforgetthediggers.com.au/galleryImg_large.asp?galID=42&galImgID=243>.

 

What Happened in Marseille during WW1? n.d., Aix Centric, accessed 4 March 2016, <http://aixcentric.com/2014/02/13/what-happened-in-marseille-during-ww1-new-exhibition/>.

 

Zeitoun camp, Egypt, n.d., New Zealand Government, accessed 6 March 2016, <http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/video/34110/zeitoun-camp-egypt-1914-15>.

 

Images:

Barnes, J 1916, HMAT A30 Borda, Photograph, Australian War Memorial, accessed 26 February 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0278/>.

 

16th Battalion Seal n.d., Photograph, Australian War Memorial, accessed 10 March 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U51456/>.

 

Image of Private Bennett 1915, Photograph, RSL Virtual Museum, accessed 25 February 2016, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/238951>.

 

Map of the Western Front n.d., Map, ANZAC Day Commemorative Committee, accessed 10 March 2016, <https://anzacday.org.au/maps-of-world-war-1>.

 

Map of Zeitoun Training Camp and Tel-El-Kebir n.d., Map, Digger History, accessed 5 March 2016, <http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-conflicts-periods/ww1/mena.htm>.

 

THE LATE PRIVATE F. R. BENNETT. 1916, Photograph of Newspaper Article, Trove, accessed 2 March 2016, <http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87530141>.

Read more...