2nd Signal Squadron,
Australian Mounted Division Engineers
Serial Number: 21660
Date/Place of Birth: 22 December 1889, St Marys, NSW
Date/Place of Death: 21 October 1918, Damascus, Syria
Biographical details: Sydney William Bennett was born on 22 December 1889 at “Bronte” St Marys, the son of James William and Mary Barclay (nee Shand) Bennett. James Bennett was a wagon builder and the owner and builder of “Bronte” at St Marys. Bennett attended St Marys Public School and worked in his father’s wagon business as a blacksmith at St Marys before enlisting. Bennett’s younger brother, Harold Victor also enlisted during World War 1 and served with the 20th Battalion and after being wounded, was invalided home to Australia in November 1918.
Service details: Bennett enlisted on 26 November 1917 and was allocated to the Reinforcement for the 2nd Military District Engineers on 4 December 1917 before being transferred to Signals on 13 February 1918. He embarked on the SS Port Darwin on 30 April 1918 and after disembarking at Suez on 7 June 1918, marched into the reinforcements camp at Moascar. On 9 July 1918, Bennett was posted to the Signal Training Unit and a fortnight later was posted to 2nd Signals Squadron, Australian Mounted Division. On 16 October 1918, Bennett was admitted to hospital with malaria and transferred to the Australian Divisional Receiving Station at Damascus on the 21 October 1918 where he died from malaria the same day.
Memorial Details: Bennett is commemorated on Memorial Panel 25, 2 Damascus British War Cemetery, Syria and on the Honor Roll at Victoria Park, St Marys.
National Archives of Australia Search: B2455, BENNETT S W
Nepean Times 26 November 1918, p3 c7
Our Soldiers: Just as we were going to press we received words from St Marys that Mr James Bennett had been notified that his son, Private Sydney Bennett, who was on active service, had died of fever.
Nepean Times 2 November 1918, p3 c7
St Marys: The sad news came to hand during the week that Sapper Sydney William (“Billie”) Bennett, third son of our respected residents, Mr and Mrs James Bennett, of St Marys, died about a month ago in Palestine, while serving his country at the war. The deceased soldier was a particularly fine young fellow, 28 years of age, always of a most genial and kindly disposition, and his loss will be greatly regretted by a large circle of friends at St Marys. The deepest sympathy is extended to his bereaved parents and relatives.