John died in 1955 and probate was granted (see right). I obtained a copy of the Will (below) and the contents include :
Tony Benson’s ancestors
Mother – Marjorie Benson 1884 to 1961 (who married Percy Bird)
Grandfather – William Cole Benson 1850 to 1898 (who went to South Africa)
Great grandfather - Thomas Benson 1810 to 1896 (linen draper & merchant in Islington)
2 x great grandfather – Thomas Benson 1781 to not known (farmer in Passenham)
3 x great grandfather – Thomas Benson 1746 to 1822 (farmer in Passenham)
John Benson’s ancestors
Father - Godfrey Rathbone Benson, 1st Baron Charnwood 1864 to 1945
Grandfather – William Benson 1816 to 1887
Great grandfather – Robert Benson 1785 to 1846 (lived in Liverpool)
2 x great grandfather – Robert Benson 1749 to 1802
3 x great grandfather – George Benson 1699 to 1761 (lived in Lancashire)
Tony was born in 1917, died in 1974 and went to Highgate and then St Paul's School. He never went to University. John was born in 1901, died in 1955 and was educated at Eton and then Balliol College at Oxford. They obviously can’t have gone to school or University together because of their different ages. John didn't have any children.
John gained the rank of Major in the service of the 105 Field Brigade, Royal Artillery (Territorial Army). He fought in the Second World War. In Tony’s unpublished autobiography he talks about his time as staff car driver with the Royal Artillery and, although pure conjecture, it could have been during this period that they met and shared their love of cars.
You can read an excellent article about John Benson's life written by a friend as an obituary in The Illustrated London News of 1955.
Obtain a copy of Tony’s WW2 service record.