Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: C.N. Dallison


Statue Benson 1901 Beaumont Street





Map ref

NY 934639

Original Location

Top of Beaumont Street

Which war

South Africa 1899-1902

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Unveiled Wednesday, 9th March 1904 by Lord Methuen.

Memorial Description

Statue of a soldier on a stone plinth, overall height 7m. The statue is about 3m high, in uniform but minus hat, striding and upright, with binoculars in his hand. The plinth is 89cm high x 61cm wide. It bears a bronze plaque 89cm high x 60cm wide on which the inscription is in raised Roman capitals.

Materials used

Bronze statue on stone plinth.


To the memory of a Gallant Soldier
George Elliott Benson
Lieut. Colonel
in the Royal Regiment of Artillery
who was born at Allerwash May 24th 1861
entered the Army May 1880
and after serving with distinction
in the Soudan campaigns of 1885, 1896, 1898,
in the Ashanti Expedition 1895
and in the South African War 1899-1901
fell while commanding his column
at the Battle of Brakenlaagte Oct.30th 1901

He is buried with those who fought
and died with him
The Unreturned Brave.

Erected by public subscription.


See above

How money was raised

Public subscription

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

John Tweed, 144 Cheyne Road, Chelsea.


1. The Statue is placed so that Lt.Col. Benson is facing his old home in the South Tyne Valley.

2. “George Elliott Benson was born in 1861 at Allerwash and died in 1901 in South Africa. He served in India, Sudan, Egypt and South Africa. He was present at all the stiffest of the earlier engagements in the Boer War, and became so well-known for is daring night attacks that the Boers resolved to catch him. At the end of October 1901 on a day of mist and rain, Benson and his men were caught in a trap. They fought grimly but had no chance. Of 280 men resisting a much large force of Boers, 66 were killed and 165 were wounded. Benson was wounded three times and died in camp next day. Kitchener had lost one of his cleverest and best commanders a soldier-hero of whom Hexham can be proud.”

3. There is a proposal to create a new road layout which incorporated this statue in a traffic island.

4. Lt.Col. Benson is also remembered on Hexham H51.16 and Newbrough N12.03

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: C.N. Dallison; Old postcard: Tony Harding; John S. Perry

Morpeth County Library Frith collection of photographs; Postcard collection shows monument before and after railings were built.

Hexham and its Abbey Hodges & Gibson, 1919 page 136.

Hexham Courant 09/11/1901; 07/12/1901; 21/12/1901; 11/01/1902; 22/03/1902; 02/08/1902; 03/10/1903; 23/10/1903; 07/11/1903; 30/01/1904; 20/02/1904; 12/03/1904 (unveiling); 06/07/1904; 01/02/1905

Buildings of England Northumberland Pevsner 1992 page 332

The Great Boer War Byron Farwell, Wordsworth Editions, 1977, pages 356-361 gives an account of Lt.Col. Benson’s role in the war and subsequent death.

Register of the Royal Grammar School Newcastle upon Tyne 1545-1954 Compiled and edited by B.D. Stevens, LL.B. contains an entry.

Source of quotation
“Unreturned brave” Childe Harolde Lord Byron.

External web link

Research acknowledgements

The late Ken and Dorothy Southern; N. Short, Hexham; C.N. Dallison; P. Thirkell; Tony Harding; James Pasby; George Nairn

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Statue Benson 1901 Beaumont Street (H51.01)

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