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Full Name: Philip Lyell Bennett
Rank Last Held:
  • Unknown
  • Colonel
Forename(s): Philip Lyell
Surname: Bennett
War:
  • World War I, 1914-1918
  • World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.:
  • 6/1017
  • 30967
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 30 March 1898
Place of Birth: Lyell, Buller, New Zealand
First Known Rank:
  • Private
  • Captain
  • Captain
  • Major
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Lieutenant Colonel
Occupation before Enlistment:
  • Insurance company employee
  • Insurance Manager
Next of Kin:
  • John Bennett (father), Murchison, Buller, New Zealand
  • Mrs N.M. Bennett (wife), 91 Belt Road, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Married
Enlistment Address:
  • Nelson, New Zealand
  • 91 Belt Road, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Enlistment Date: 18 August 1914
Age on Enlistment: 16
Military District: Canterbury
Body on Embarkation:
  • Main Body
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 3rd Divis
Embarkation Unit:
  • Canterbury Infantry Battalion
  • 25 Battalion
  • New Zealand Infantry Brigade
  • Headquarters, New Zealand Infantry Brigade
  • New Zealand Infantry Brigade
  • Headquarters, 3 Division
Embarkation Date: 16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation: Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand
Transport:
Vessel: Tahiti or Athenic
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Nominal Roll Number:
  • Vol1
  • WW2 3
  • WW2 7
  • WW2 9
  • WW2 12
  • WW2 14
Page on Nominal Roll:
  • 50
  • WW2 37
  • WW2 15
  • WW2 31
  • WW2 15
  • WW2 10
Other Units:
  • Canterbury Regiment
  • 25 Battalion
  • 14 Infantry Brigade
  • 3 NZ Division
Campaigns:
  • Gallipoli
  • Beandigny Ridge
  • Pacific
Military Awards:
  • Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
  • Military Cross (MC)
  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal (1914-1920)
  • Victory Medal
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star
  • Pacific Star
  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD)
  • New Zealand War Service Medal
  • New Zealand Territorial Service Medal
  • Philippine Liberation Ribbon (USA)
Award Circumstances:
  • MC: Awarded for actions at Beandigny Ridge, 23 October 1918.
  • DSO: NZ Gazette, 7 September 1944. Citation: "For distinguished service in the field. As Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General of 3rd New Zealand Division, Lieutenant Colonel Bennett took control of all landing beaches during the operations which resulted in the capture of the Green (Nissan) Islands Group on 15 February 1944. He accompanied the leading troops ashore. His tireless energy, his inspiring example and the skill with which he directed and controlled the unloading operations were largely responsible for the successful landing in dense jungle across completely unprepared beaches of an immense amount of warlike stores. He has moreover rendered very distinguished service in the other operations in which his division was engaged and which resulted in the capture of Vella Lavella and Treasury Islands."
Discharge Date:
  • 22 May 1919
  • Unknown date of discharge
Last Unit Served:
  • Unknown
  • 25 Infantry Battalion
Biographical Notes:
  • After WWI ended, Bennett volunteered with the Canterbury Regiment.
  • He re-enlisted with 2 NZEF as Captain and Quartermaster (QM) of 25 Battalion, 1940.
  • Promoted to Major and Staff Captain of 14 Infantry Brigade, 1942.
  • Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General (AA & QMG) of 3 NZ Division, 1943-44.
  • Member of Special Employment Allied Control Commission SW Pacific Area from February 1945.
Postwar Occupation: Soldier
Description of Image: Portrait, The Weekly News; 6 September 1944
Further References: Haigh, J., and Polaschek, A. (compilers). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, The Authors.
Sources Used:
  • Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume I. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1914-1919
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 7 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1942 to 31st March, 1942)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 9 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1942 to 31st December, 1942)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 12 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1943 to 31st December, 1943)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 14 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1944 to 31st December, 1944)
  • The Weekly News 1944
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