At the end of last year, Ma Adams contacted the Headmaster, Dr Hyde-Dunn, informing him of a set of medals for sale belonging to Old Dragon, Captain Frank Benham. She was alerted to their sale thanks to her mum’s husband, an avid history and medal collector. She wrote in the hope to find the medals a home at the Dragon and on 7 December, Dragon Bursar Martin Johnson took the first steps towards making that happen.
Captain Frank Benham, Royal Field Artillery born in Stafford 1886 was educated at Oxford Preparatory School (now known as the Dragon School), Oxford from 1898 to 1900. A keen sportsman, he played Cricket (XI in 1900), Hockey (XI in 1900) and Rugby (XV in 1898 to 1900). Moving to Marlborough College and from there to Woolwich. He was commissioned in 1906 and was attached to the Southern Nigeria Regiment in 1911.
Serving in France from 20th August, he participated in the retreat from Mons, the battle of Le Cateau and other engagements. He married Margaret Page in Paddington whilst on leave in December 1915. Later he was severely wounded by shell fragments near Mametz Wood 5 August 1916 during the battle of the Somme. Evacuated to England, Captain Frank Benham died 23 August 1916 at Queen Alexandra’s Hospital, Millbank, London, aged 30 years, during an operation to save his life. His wife was at his side. He now rests in the Castle Church (St Mary’s) Churchyard, Stafford.
The Dragon is delighted to have since purchased and received Captain Frank Benham’s 1914 Star, British War and Victory Medals (pictured below). We look forward to displaying them within the School. Unfortunately, we hold limited information on Captain Frank Benham and his family. Archivist, Gay Sturt, is working on tracing the family, and we hope to be in touch with them in the near future. Please do be in touch with the School if you know anything about the family.
With huge thanks to Ma Adams this was only made possible thanks to the great spot and initiative shown by the keen historians within her family.