Benjamin Mendell

 

Rank Second Lieutenant
Age 27
Date of Death 14/06/1918
Regiment Unknown
Memorial  Unknown

 

Benjamin was born in Rochester, Kent in December 1890. His parents were Samuel (b. 1858) and Marianne, nee Oake, (b. 1854) Mendell, who were married in Lymington in 1885. He had one sibling: Kathleen (b. 1888), who was born in Gosport. His father was born in Germany and his mother in Lymington, Hampshire.

At the time of the 1891 Census, Benjamin was 4 months old and his family were living at 15 Trinder Road, Upper Holloway in Islington with his grandmother, Elizabeth Oake. He was baptised on 19th April 1891 in St Mary’s Hornsey Rise.

A Benjamin Mendel married in Holborn district in the third quarter of 1910 a Gertrud F D Wolfframm but it is uncertain as to whether or not this is the Benjamin on our War Memorial. At the time of the 1911 Census, his sister was a companion governess (visiting Wandsworth). Benjamin appears not to be listed in the 1901 or 1911 census records.

Thus far we have been unable to trace any military records that indicate that Benjamin served and died in the British armed forces. His name is not recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. As he had a German father is it possible that he served in the German armed forces and yet it would be exceptional in that case for his name to be recorded on the a British war memorial. It is a mystery.   

The July 1918 edition of the St Luke’s monthly magazine lists Benjamin in the roll of honour and states that: ‘Second Lieut Mendell was a nephew of Mr and Mrs Trower, of Birdcroft, Mountfield Road, and of Mr C Oake who sang for many years in the choir. On the 8th of June they laid their sister, Mrs Kempe to rest after a long illness. This is the third nephew they have lost in the war, one of them being the only son of Mr Kempe who was killed on July 1916’.

Benjamin’s sister, Kathleen married Arthur William Wright (aged 37, a bachelor and bank cashier of Brixton Hill) on 7th September 1918 in St Luke’s Finchley. The marriage register indicates that he father, Samuel Mendell, was deceased and that his occupation had been ‘a professor of languages’. Her address is given as Birdwood, Mountfield Road and the witnesses were Frances Kathleen Trower and Hiouces Richd Trower

The July 1918 edition of the St Luke’s monthly magazine states that: ‘Second Lieutenant Mendell was a nephew of Mr and Mrs Trower, of Birdcroft, Mountfield Road, and of Mr C Oake who sang for many years in the choir. On the 8th of June they laid their sister, Mrs Kempe to rest after a long illness. This is the third nephew they have lost in the war, one of them being the only son of Mr Kempe who was killed on July 1916’.