Harold Axel Benson RAF

US Passport Application


1889 May 25. Born Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States . Parents were Carl Thomas Frithjof Benson and Hulda B. Anderson, His father was a Works, Manager, Motorcar Comp.

1910 Arrives in UK

1910 Married Myra Pollard

1910 a son Carl Russell Benson born in Norway

1911 census at Allesley Village, Warwickshire.

1911 Returns to USA for 3 weeks (on passport application)

1915 Aug 28. Derbyshire Home Guards. Appointed a Platoon Commander in B Coy, - Harold Axel Benson

1917 Jan 5. Gets a US Passport at US Embassy in London. He intends to return to USA but is living in UK

1917 Aug 7. Became a naturalised UK citizen. He was an Engineer, War Office Aeronautical Inspection Dept. Living at 16, Fairmount Road, Brixton Hill, London

The UK National Archives shows the growth of the Department from 13 staff in December 1913 to 10,600 by 11 November 1918. The range of responsibilities was extensive, as illustrated by the following statement from the NA:

The scope of the inspection carried out by AID comprised not only aircraft but supplies of many other kinds utilized by the Flying Service, such as balloons, hangars, tents, machine tools, raw materials, fabrics and a variety of general equipment. In the inspection of these multifarious supplies almost every trade was dealt with, and some idea may be formed of the department's technical requirements when it is realized that detailed inspection was made of all materials, of the manufacturing process to which they were subjected, of the assembly of various parts into component units and of the erection of the aircraft, engines, etc.
When AID was the 'Aeronautical Inspection Department' it was under the control of the War Office, so personnel probably had to have a 'military rank' to have 'authority' on military installations. However, in March 1917 AID came under the control of the Ministry of Munitions and became the 'Aeronautical Inspection Directorate', so not 'military' but they may have continued with 'honorary ranks'. By the end of the war it had a total of 10,657 personnel of all grades of both sexes. The female element consisted of eight inspectors, 535 examiners, 4,274 viewers and some 500 office staff, that was up from zero in 1914.

1917 Oct 1. The undermentioned to be temp. Hon. Lts. whilst empld. as Asst. Insprs., Aeronautical Inspn. Dept. - Harold Axel Benson

1918 Sep 20. Hon. Lt. H. A. Benson relinquishes his commn. on ceasing to be empld.

1920 Nov 17. Joined ADRIC with service no 1057. Posted to F Coy

1921 Apr 30. Re-engaged for a further period.

1921 May 5 to 12 May on Leave

1921 May 7. Posted to R Coy

1921 Jul 30 to 12 Aug on Leave

1921 Aug 9. Suspended

1921 Aug 24. Dismissed the force by Commandant

1939 Register in Airport Cafe Eaton Green Road , Luton . He is Aircraft Factory Supt.. His wife and child are living in Bromley

1955-1965 (at least): Lived in Bexley, Kent with two children and wife (-1964).

1964 his wife Myra died

1973 Jun Died in Orpington, Kent of Bronchitis. He was a Works Manager (Engineers) retired, 1 A Highclare Old Hill Chistlehurst, Bromley and died at Orpington Hospital in Orpington.