Redginald Archibald Benn signature

On this day in 1915, Redginald Archibald Benn enlisted in Kingston, Ontario. He had been born in Deseronto on May 13th, 1898 (he said 1897 when he signed up), the son of Archibald Franklin Benn and Mary (née Morrison).

On enlisting, Benn was described as five feet four and a half inches tall and his occupation was “school boy”. He joined the 80th Battalion with the regimental number 219882. His service record shows that Benn arrived in England in May 1916 and was transferred to the 50th Battalion, arriving in France on August 11th, 1918. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in April 1917 and in January 1918 he went back to England to train as an officer. He was granted a commission as a lieutenant in the Alberta Regiment in April 1918. He served with the 21st Canadian Reserve Battalion in England. In May of 1918 he was admitted to hospital with swollen, painful joints and was diagnosed with gonorrhea. A rare complication of gonorrhea is gonococcal arthritis, and this is what Benn was suffering from. At the time this was not a disease which could be quickly cured and Benn was sent back to Canada on the SS Neuralia, leaving England on October 30th, 1918.

He was discharged from the army at Kingston on April 28th, 1919 as medically unfit.

Redginald Benn unfit

Benn died in Kamloops, British Columbia, at the age of 36 on June 7th, 1934.

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