Monday, October 10, 2016

Louis Bennett (1894-1918) - West Virginian RAF WW1 hero

Louis Bennett

Here’s a brilliant story, touched on in one of Oren F Morton’s books. There is a stained glass window to Louis Bennett's memory in Westminster Abbey, a library in his memory in his home town of Weston. He is the only West Virginian commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The family traced their origins to a Joseph Bennett who had arrived in Augusta County, Virginia before the Revolutionary War. He moved to West Virginia and many generations of the family were influential there. His son William married a Rebecca McCauley; their son Jonathan became a candidate for the US Senate and a brigadier-general during the Civil War under General Stonewall Jackson. Jonathan’s son William George also served in the Civil War, and in turn his son Louis Sr. joined the Confederate States Navy in 1865 aged only 16, just as the war was ending. It was Louis jr. who joined the RAF. 

A History of Lewis County (1920) provides further details about the family.
• Louis Bennett’s Wikipedia entry is a good summary