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Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

Major-General Frederick William Benson

Died: August 19, 1916

w051_Benson, Frederick William 001

In General Sir Frederick Benson, who died at Montreal on August 20th, Upper Canada College has lost one of its most famous soldiers. Frederick William Benson, the son of the Honourable J. B. Benson, of St. Catharines, was born in 1849, and entered the College as a boarder in 1864. On leaving school he went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst ; was gazetted to the 21st Hussars in 1869, passed the Staff College in 1880, and was appointed Captain in the 5th Dragoons. In 1886 he was made a Major in the 17th Lancers, in 1893 Lieutenant-Colonel, in 1898 a full Colonel, and in 1903 Major-General.

He was a Colonel in the 21st Lancers in 1909, and has been Major-General in the Reserve of Officers since December, 1909. He took part in the Fenian Raids of 1866, and obtained a medal and clasp. He spent some years in India, where, in 1877, he was A.D.C. to the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces ; he was Brigadier-General at Poona from 1882 to 1884, and from that date till 1890 he was Garrison Instructor at Bengal.

During the South African War of 1899-02, when he was A.A.G., he was mentioned in despatches, received a medal and three clasps, and was awarded the C.B. General Benson was in command of the Egyptian Cavalry from 1893-94, and from 1895-98 was D.A.A.G. for instruction in the Dublin District, in the South-Eastern district from 1898-99, and at Headquarters from 1902-03. He was then made Inspector-General of Remounts, and in 1904 Director of Transport and Remounts, which post he held till 1907, when he was given the charge of the Administration of the Southern Command.

In 1910 General Benson was made a K.C.B. He held the rank of Honorary Colonel in the 19th St. Catharines Regiment, and in the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry. At the time of his death he was in charge of the Remount Commission. He married on September 6th, 1881, Caroline, daughter of Sir G. E. Cooper, Bart.

More information about Major General Frederick William Benson can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Bodleian Library, Oxford University

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

The Western Front Association, “The Care, Development and Importance of the British Horse on the Western Front in World War One”