John Burlton Benett was born 5 Jun 1852. In Apr 1866 he joined the Royal Navy as Naval Cadet; 30 Jul 1867 Promoted to Midshipman; 10 May 1873 Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant; and 1 Jun 1876 Promoted to Lieutenant.
13 Aug 1867 Midshipman on HMS Liffey
23 Jun 1871 Midshipman on HMS Topaze (Frigate on Detached Squadron)
16 Dec 1872 Midshipman on HMS Aurora (Frigate, Training ship for Ordinary Seaman)
1 Apr 1874 Sub-Lieutenant on HMS Spiteful
1877 Lieutenant attending the Royal Naval College, Greenwich
7 Jun 1878 Lieutenant on HMS Boadicea (Flagship, Cape of Good Hope and West Coast of Africa)
Lt. Benett was landed as part of the naval brigade on 19 Mar 1879. Went to the Lower Tugela where Lord Chelmsford was assembling a force for the relief of Col. Pearson’s men at Eshowe. From there he accompanied the Naval Brigade, which was part of the Eshowe Relief column, and was present at the Battle of Gingindlovu, 2 Apr 79. After Eshowe had been relieved, Benett was sent down sick, in mid-Apri, to the Hospital at Durban where he remained until the 9th of June when he was transferred from Natal to Simon’s Bay. On arrival at Simon’s Bay Lt. Benett was put on the sick list of HMS Boadicea on 15 Jun 79, and then he was discharged to Royal Naval Hospital Simon’s Bay 16 Jun 79. He was subsequently invalided to England (October or November) with hepatitis, on Union Mail Steamer ‘German’.
12 Aug 1880 Lt. Benett died ‘from hardships endured in the Zulu War of 1879’ at Haslar Hospital.
Petty Officer Tom