For more background to this question please see Identifying Australian soldier named Williams in World War I photograph (1917)?

This is a photograph of what I believe to be an Australian soldier from World War I named Bennett, and I would like to identify him.

enter image description here

It comes from a page from my grandmother's 1917 autograph book (see image below).

Her name was Gwenyth Jean Stacy (born 16 Dec 1902 at St Peters, Adelaide, South Australia) and at the time she was living with her parents and sisters at Henley Beach which is now a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia.

The date of 9 Jul 1917 is written, with names, next to three of the photos, but I do not know whether that was the date they were taken on.

enter image description here

Can anyone help me with reading the handwriting and identifying him?

I will then try to contact his family and provide them with his photograph.

Unfortunately his surname of Bennett is common. His first initial seems to be P but I am uncertain of his second initial. I am more than happy to share the pleasure of discovering who he was with anyone keen to look at Australian military records.

Some places that I have looked but that are worth revisiting are:

3 Answers 3


I was thinking perhaps the second initial was a "T", so I did a quick search of the South Australian BDM index (run by GenealogySA) and found a P. T. (Patrick Thomas) Bennett, who seemed about the right 'vintage" for the photo:

Given Name(s): Patrick Thomas Last Name: BENNETT Birth Date: 1890, July 17 Gender: M Father: William Patrick BENNETT Mother: Bridget Theresa DWYER Birth Place/Residence: Nr Millicent District: Grey Symbol: Book/Page: 463/119

I then jumped onto the RSL virtual war memorial website and found:

BENNETT, Patrick Thomas Service number 2376 Private 50th Infantry Battalion AIF WW1

If this might be him, there are also some interesting "Red Cross" papers.

What was interesting about the "Red Cross" papers, is a letter written to the Red Cross from an "M. Wittenberg" - the handwriting (well, at least the way "P. T. Bennett" is written, I think looks quite similar to the writing under the photograph of soldier P ? Bennett.

"Red Cross Papers - letter from M Wittenberg

Autograph book P ? Bennett

  • I think you have found the right man. I'm not 100% sure on the writing match but his name seems to be at least 90% similar. The main difference to me is the top-left of the "P". I found that Miss M. Wittenberg wrote her letter from St Peters which is where my grandmother was born and went to school so maybe the writing could be similar if the two girls had the same primary school teacher. I have not yet found a link between them so that is pure speculation. Maybe I can find enrolment records for St Peter's Girls College.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 10:33

I agree it is most likely to be 2376 Patrick Thomas Bennett: Perhaps the other soldier is 2952 Leslie Alick Williams of South Australia. Both were serving overseas in 1917 so doubt the date on their photos is relevant.


I directed Faithe Jones who hosts the World War 1 Pictorial Honour Rolls of Australians to this Q&A and she suggested Patrick Thomas Bennett (Regimental number: 2376) but does not have a photo of him to compare.

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