1914-15 Star (Lieut J.H. Bennett, 4/Can:Inf); British War and Victory medal pair (Lieut J.H. Bennett); Canadian Volunteer Service medal; War medal, 1935 Jubilee medal (Lt.Col. J.H. Bennett, Queen’s Rangers); Colonial Auxiliary Forces LSGC medal (Geo V) (Major J.H. Bennett, York Rangers); Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer’s Decoration (Geo V) (Major J.H. Bennett, York, Rang.)
John Hyde Bennett was born in Northern Ireland and served with the Royal Jersey Light Infantry, before emigrating to Canada in 1909. He was appointed Lieutenant in the 12th York Rangers on the 11th September, 1913. Taken on strength, as a Lieutenant with the 4th Bn, CEF, on February 5, 1915, Bennett served in France and Belgium with the “Mad Fourth” from February 15th, 1915 until April 27, 1915. He was badly gassed and seriously wounded leading a counter attack on a hill at Weiltje and St. Jean on April 23, 1915, following the gas attack at Ypres on April 22, 1915. He was evacuated and recovered, only to serve again in France and Belgium from September 16, 1915 until October 21, 1915. He was promoted to A/Major on 1st April, 1916 and returned to Canada.
Major J.H. Bennett, 1st Depot Bn, 1st C.O.R. also served with the 259th Battalion in Siberia. He is listed in Skuce’s book page 58, as having sailed to Vladivostock, as a Captain aboard SS Protesliaus from Victoria on 26/12/18. He returned from Siberia May 29, 1919.
Bennett was appointed a Major with the York Rangers on 7 January, 1922. Appointed Lieut-Colonel of the regiment on 1 January, 1934. He later became a Military Archivist for Ontario, with the Canadian Military Institute. He died in 1949, while on holiday with his wife on holiday in Albany, New York.
Victory medal tarnished, rim bruise to BWM, otherwise very fine or better.
*Bennett’s great-niece contacted me on 6-June, 2019 and provided the photo of Bennett and this additional information:
My great uncle John Hyde Bennett had a widow (Katherine Mabel) but no children and he lived in Toronto where he is buried along with his mother who was my great grandmother. My father, who died in 1980 in the UK, was the family’s only descendant and I’ve inherited many things from that side of the family. I imagine that his widow’s family probably sold the medals at some stage after her death which I think was around 1963.
I thought you might like to see a picture of John Hyde Bennett wearing his medals. He was born in Ireland and moved to Canada after the death of his father in 1909. His mother Annie and his sister Nesta, my grandmother followed him. Nesta came back to the UK after a few years, where she married and my father John Hyde Williams was born.
Interestingly, John Hyde Bennett’s father-in-law, Canadian Edwin Smith, was the only clergyman to command a battleship in the First World War.
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