William Francis Benwell

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Captain (retired) William Francis Benwell, D.S.O. (10 October, 1871 – 9 August, 1951) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Benwell gained eight months' time on passing out of Britannia in mid-January, 1887. He was first appointed to the armoured cruiser Bacchante which was operating in the East Indies.[1]

Benwell was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1893.[2]

Appointed to Fox on the Cape of Good Hope Station on 14 April, 1896, Benwell was invalided with malaria on 23 July 1898. Found fit on 17 August, on 27 August Benwell was appointed to Australia, temporary, during the absence of Lieutenant Henderson.

Benwell left Esquimalt for England on 3 May 1901 and arrived in Liverpool in charge of three men on 20 May. On 12 February, 1902, Benwell grounded Speedwell at Lerwick and incurred the severe displeasure of the Admiralty, which felt that bettter judgment and handling would have avoided such an accident. Benwell was superseded in command of Speedwell on 30 June, 1904. On 29 July, he was appointed to Colossus, which was then a guardship at Cowes. In August, he was discharged from this duty and undertook a short course in gunnery at Excellent, followed by a course in torpedoes at Vernon, commencing on 22 October, 1904.[3]

Benwell was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1904 and appointed to the second class protected cruiser Arrogant on 3 January, 1905.[4]

In mid 1906, Benwell had to cede command of Spitfire, having come down with neuritis. He was not fully fit for service until late in the year, when he was given command of Cherwell on 20 November. Benwell commanded Cherwell until he received an adverse report from Commodore (T), indicating that he was not fit for destroyer command, on 10 September, 1907. On 22 October, he was appointed to Pembroke to learn the duties of the Drafting Commander. By December, he was skilled enough to commence just over two years' drafting duties at Pembroke.[5]

On 7 January, 1910, Benwell was appointed in command of the screw sloop Alert. He was invalided from the ship in late November, however and sent home from Bombay in a P. & O. steamer, arriving home on 24 December. He was found fit on 4 March, 1911.[6]

Benwell was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Captain on 5 January, 1912.[7]

Benwell was appointed to President for Transport Service, Humber in August, 1914. On 5 September, his posting was altered to Southampton. In December, 1914, he was moved to Dieppe.[8]

In May 1915, Benwell was appointed District Naval Transport Officer, Dunkirk. On 28 July, 1917 he was moved to District Naval Transport Officer & Senior Naval Officer, Boulogne.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 97
9 Jan, 1895[9] – 5 Aug, 1895[10]
Succeeded by
Thomas N. James
Preceded by
James W. Pochin
Captain of H.M.S. Speedwell
5 Jul, 1901[11] – 30 Jun, 1904[12]
Succeeded by
Edward A. Thomas
Preceded by
George J. Todd
Captain of H.M.S. Cygnet
1 Apr, 1905[13] – Apr, 1905[14]
Succeeded by
Vernon F. Tuson
Preceded by
John A. Gregory
Captain of H.M.S. Quail
Apr, 1905[15] – late Apr, 1905[16]
Succeeded by
Cyril P. Ryan
Preceded by
Cyril P. Ryan
Captain of H.M.S. Locust
late Apr, 1905[17] – 6 Oct, 1905[18]
Succeeded by
Claude L. Cumberlege
Preceded by
Claude L. Cumberlege
Captain of H.M.S. Banshee
6 Oct, 1905[19][20] – 9 Jan, 1906[21]
Succeeded by
Cyril P. Ryan
Preceded by
Cyril P. Ryan
Captain of H.M.S. Quail
10 Jan, 1906[22] – 28 May, 1906[23]
Succeeded by
Archibald T. Stewart
Preceded by
Osmond J. Prentis
Captain of H.M.S. Spitfire
28 May, 1906[24][25] – 22 Jun, 1906[26]
Succeeded by
Vaughan A. E. Hanning-Lee
Preceded by
Harold G. Grenfell
Captain of H.M.S. Cherwell
20 Nov, 1906[27][28] – 10 Sep, 1907[29]
Succeeded by
William D. Paton
Preceded by
Laurence E. Power
Captain of H.M.S. Alert
7 Jan, 1910[30] – 25 Nov, 1910[31]
Succeeded by
Hugh G.-C. Somerville
Preceded by
Oswald W. Ormsby
Captain of H.M.S. Commonwealth
16 May, 1911[32] – 6 Jun, 1911[33]
Succeeded by
Price V. Lewes
Preceded by
Robert K. Arbuthnot
Captain of H.M.S. Boadicea
6 Jun, 1911[34] – 17 Oct, 1911[35]
Succeeded by
Vernon H. S. Haggard
Preceded by
?
Senior Naval Officer, Boulogne
May, 1915[36] – 27 Aug, 1917[37]
Succeeded by
David M. Hamilton
Preceded by
?
Divisional Naval Transport Officer, Boulogne
May, 1915[38] – 27 Aug, 1917[39]
Succeeded by
David M. Hamilton
Preceded by
Gerald C. A. Marescaux
District Naval Transport Officer, Dunkirk
May, 1915[40] – 27 Aug, 1917[41]
Succeeded by
David M. Hamilton

Footnotes

  1. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  2. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  3. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  4. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  5. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  6. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  7. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  8. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  9. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  10. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  11. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  12. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  13. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  14. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  15. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  16. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  17. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  18. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  19. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  20. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 281.
  21. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  22. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  23. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  24. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  25. The Navy List. (June, 1906). p. 378.
  26. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  27. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  28. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 293.
  29. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  30. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  31. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  32. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  33. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  34. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  35. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  36. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  37. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  38. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  39. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  40. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  41. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.