Eugene Paul Bennett
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|Eugene Paul Bennett|
4 June 1892|
Cainscross, Gloucestershire, England
|Died||6 April 1970
|Years of service||1913–1918|
|Unit||The Worcestershire Regiment|
Eugene Paul Bennett VC MC (4 June 1892 – 6 April 1970) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was born in Cainscross, Stroud, Gloucestershire, the fourth of five sons of Mr and Mrs Charles Bennett. Bennett was a pupil of Marling School from 1905 to 1908 having gained a scholarship from Uplands School, Stroud.
Bennett was 24 years old, and a Temporary Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when on 5 November 1916 near Le Transloy France the deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
The award citation published in the London Gazette reads:
Temporary Lieutenant Bennett, of the Worcestershire Regiment, when in command of the second wave of the attack, found that the first wave had suffered heavy casualties. Its commander had been killed and the second line was wavering. Lieutenant Bennett advanced at the head of the second wave and by his personal example of valour and resolution reached his objective with but sixty men. Isolated with his small party, he at once took steps to consolidate his position, under heavy rifle and machine gun fire from both flanks, and although wounded, he remained in command, directing and controlling. He set an example of cheerfulness and resolution beyond all praise, and there is little doubt that, but for his personal example of courage,the attack would have been checked at the outset.
Bennett first served in the ranks of the Artists' Rifles and later achieved the rank of captain. After World War I he became a lawyer, being called to the bar in 1923, then serving as Prosecuting Counsel from 1931 to 1935 and a Metropolitan Magistrate from 1935 to his retirement in 1961. During World War II he served as an officer in the Air Training Corps of the RAF. He retired to Vicenza, in northern Italy, where he died at the age of 77.