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Col. David Benest OBE

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by GRW, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "My husband, David Benest, who has died of heart disease aged 66, was a soldier-scholar. Drawing on his military experiences, he was keen to tell the truth about war and to encourage honest reflection for lessons to be learned. A humanist, he believed that soldiers should be fully accountable for their actions but that they need clear ethical guidance on the responsibility they hold.
    Born in London, David was the son of Kenneth, a London Transport signals engineer, and his wife, Beatrice (nee Blake). After the Royal grammar school, Guildford, Surrey, he was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1973, and his first operational tour was in Northern Ireland. He returned there many times, finally for a six-month tour in 1996-97 as commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion in South Armagh, for which he was appointed OBE.
    David also had several desk jobs at the Ministry of Defence, in which he contributed to the development of equipment and communication systems designed to thwart the IRA.
    In 1982 he was regimental signals officer with 2 Para during the Falklands conflict, which saw the battalion defeat the Argentinians in the first major land victory at Goose Green. He was tasked with writing an account of the battalion’s campaign, which formed the basis of 2 Para Falklands: The Battalion at War, by Maj Gen John Frost, published in 1983.
    Having always wanted to go university, David took an in-service degree at Keele University in international relations, graduating with first-class honours in 1981. He was able to combine his military and academic interests, from 2002 onwards, with oversight of the British Army Review and the organisation of international conferences. After retirement in 2009 as a full colonel he reviewed books for the British Army Review and pursued his arguments for a better ethical education for all ranks.
    As a younger man David had been a rock climber and ski mountaineer, and our holidays, often in Corsica, usually involved strenuous but rewarding uphill walking. Living in Wiltshire, where we moved in 2001, he raised more than £10,000 for the Ulysses Trust, a charity that funds expeditions for young cadets, by doing a local newspaper round. He was an excellent cook and enjoyed gathering a rich mix of friends for meals. A serious man, he nevertheless loved good company, music, books and runs on the hills with his dogs."

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