Bennett, Samuel Brittain

Tim, as he was known, was born on 25th May 1918, the younger son of Samuel Robert Bennett and Gertrude (nee Brittain) of Leatherhead, Surrey, and brother of Reginald Frederick Bennett (Coll 1924-1930).   He showed a marked artistic and musical taste and ability, and went from Winchester to the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.   Shortly before his death he had written an article on “Reconstruction after the War” published in World Review.    He produced two pantomimes, writing songs for one and arranging the music, and also writing  articles in magazines which attracted wide recognition both in England and in America.  When only 19 he planned the reconstruction of the entrance hall of the Royal Hampshire County Hospital at the request of his friends, Dr and Mrs Penny, as a memorial to their son.

Like his elder brother, Reginald, he was a keen sailor, and had joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve immediately after leaving school.   In the war he served on HMS Diomede, the flagship of the Cruiser Squadron, Northern Patrol, spending six months in the Arctic Circle.   He then took a course in Asdic (or sonar), the main underwater detection device used by Allied escorts throughout the war, and was appointed Second in Command of an Asdic trawler in the Irish Sea.  Eventually he gained command of a motor gunboat, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for the part he played in an action fought in March 1942 by his flotilla of three gunboats, when they successfully engaged a larger force of E boats (the fast attack boats used by the German fleet during the War).

Sadly, he never heard of the award of his DSC as on 20th April 1942, while on a night patrol in the North Sea, he was shot through the heart and died instantly.  He is buried in Lowestoft (Beccles Road) Cemetery in Section. 25. Grave 506.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Bennett
  • Forenames or initials: Samuel Brittain
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1931-1935
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 25th May 1918
  • Date of Death: 20th April 1942
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G2
  • Decoration: DSC
  • Burial Site: Beccles Road Cemetery, Lowestoft: Grave 506, Section 25