Malcolm Benitz & Gertie Traill Page last modified:

Malcolm & Gertie Benitz
Documents, newspaper articles, Obits, etc.

NOTE: Polo and the breeding of polo-ponies was such an integral part of Malcolm & Gertie’s lives that we have created a page dedicated to it.  Some early photos (pre-WWII) appear on other pages.

Documents - & references in print, post-WW-II:

Malcolm’s Personal Documents

Missing image.

Malcolm’s Birth Certificate
(Source: F.M. Benitz / PBz)


Wedding – Rosario – 25 May 1946

Missing image.

Malcolm & Gertie
Leaving the Church

(BA Herald – 29 March 1946
Source: F.M. Benitz / GABH

Missing image.

Malcolm & Gertie
Cutting Cake

(BA Herald – 29 March 1946
Source: F.M. Benitz / GABH

St. Bartholomew's Church, Rosario, SFé
Rev. F.W. Cowes

Dame of Honour – Nora Traill/Cameron
Bridesmaids – Joan & Diana Traill

Bestman – Kenneth Hale
Groomsmen – Wyndham Lacey & Cedric Kennard

Flower girl – Jill Pryor
Page boy – Stuart Pryor

Reception – British Community Assembly Hall

References in Print

Memorias de un veterinario rural
por Antonio José Taccari
1º ed. - Las Rosas
Editorial Gráfica Las Rosas, 2014
ISBN 978-987-29164-2-8

Memories of a rural veterinarian,
by Antonio José Taccari

Página 18 (Page 18)

“!Macanudo, dijo Malcolm!”

Piloto sobreviviente de la Segunda Guerra.  Estanciero.  Polista apasionado.  Disfrutaba amigos... caballos... Trabajaba a la par de sus peones...

Popularizó su expresión permanente: “Macanudo”, teñida del inglés visceral.

- Mañana vacunamos.-... -“¡Mackanudo, che!”.-

Alguien tuvo que avisarle: - Don Malcom, falleció su papá.-

Según dicen respondió: - Ah, gracias... “mackanudo”, voy para allá.-

“!Macanudo, Malcolm said!”

Surviving pilot from the Second World War.  Rancher.  Passionate polo player.  He enjoyed friends... horses... He worked alongside his employees.

He made popular his constant expression: “Macanudo”, tinged with visceral English.

- We vaccinate tomorrow.-... -“¡Mackanudo, che!”.-

Someone had to tell him: - Don Malcolm, your father died.-

They say he replied:- OK, thanks... “macanudo”, I’m going.



Malcolm’s Obituary
By Keith C. Pryor

(BA Herald – 9 March, 1988
Source: P. Benitz / GABH)

9 March, 1988 — Buenos Aires Herald



Although some months have passed since Frank Malcolm Benitz was called to higher service, his courage, skill and determination as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the second World War should not be forgotten.

He enlisted voluntarily in the R.C.A.F., in October 1940 and trained under the Commonwealth Joint Air Training Plan, being commissioned in October, 1941.  In April 1942 he was nominated for the "immediate" award of the D.F.C. (Distinguished Flying Cross), which would be bestowed on him at the next investiture, in the following citation:


“One day in October, 1941p Sergeant Benitz, as he was then, was captain of an aircraft which took part in a raid on Naples.  After a successful attack, the port engine of his aircraft began to fail.  Benitz thereupon set a course for his base but discovered several bombs still remained hung up.  Although the defective engine was giving little power and causing the aircraft to lose height, Sergeant Benitz changed his course for an alternative target and finally released his bombs over the heavily defended area of Palermo.  By now the port engine had failed completely and the aircraft was flying at some 4,500 feet.  Nevertheless Sergeant Benitz headed the aircraft towards the coast in order to avoid the mountains, and displaying fine airmanship finally succeeded in reaching his base and landing safely.  He showed great courage and determination.”

Shortly after this episode, he was badly wounded on an operational flight, sustaining a compound fracture of a leg - which he refused to let the doctors amputate - the healing of which kept him in hospital in Egypt for some months.  Once more back on operations, he was obliged to make a forced landing in the Mediterranean when returning from a flight.  The plane had made a night raid when one engine cut out.  Using powerful landing lights, 26 year old Benitz was able to stall the Wellington and set it down safely in the sea but unfortunately his navigator was killed in the crash landing and Benitz's head struck the windscreen, causing an injury which, “normally would have necessitated about twelve stitches instead of which the salt water healed it”.

The plane sank in thirty seconds but Benitz and the other four members of the crew managed to scramble into the dinghy.  Fortunately the weather was cool and the sea calm, as the men drifted day after day, surviving on the scantiest of rations, composed mainly of half a dozen aspirins and half a bar of chocolate, which were shared parsimoniously by the survivors.  If it had not been for the rain which fell on the fifth day, they would certainly have died of thirst.  By then the men had exhausted the chocolate but the rain water enabled them to survive until the morning of the tenth day, when they were picked up by an Italian hospital ship.  Two of the survivors were so weak, they had to be hoisted from the dinghy to the ship.  The rest had to be assisted but Benitz refused any help and climbed up the rope ladder on his own.

Mean while, Benitz had been posted as "missing believed killed" and no news was received by his family for several months, at the end of which they learned he was safe in Italy.  As a result he was as yet unable to collect his decoration, spending his time in various prisoner of war camps in Italy.

However, as the Germans advanced south from the north of Italy and were approaching the camp where Benitz was a prisoner, the Italians opened the gates allowing the prisoners to escape.  Benitz was one of the few-fortunate prisoners of war freed, not to be caught by the Germans.  He was thus able to work his way south through the mountains, helped by the Italian-country folk, to the allied lines - he admitted his Spanish helped him - where he was placed under arrest until his identity could be proved.

On his return to England and after receiving his decoration, Flight Lieutenant Benitz volunteered for the Far East; was accepted and was training on the four engined Lancaster Bombers, when the war ended.

After the war, Benitz returned to this country, where he was born and farmed at "La California", Province of Santa Fé, on part of his father's estate of the same name.  His hobbies were polo and fishing, playing the former for a number of years, until his war wounds prevented him from continuing.

Frank Malcolm Benitz was educated at Amesbury Preparatory School and Stowe in England, completing his education at the University of Illinois, in the U,S.A., which university his father and three sons also attended.

Everyone who knew Frank Malcolm Benitz - from all walks of life - would without doubt agree that he was the perfect example of those few people on this earth, who live their lives for something or someone other than themselves.


( KCP: Keith C. Pryor, husband of Malcolm’s sister Corina.)


Gertie’s Obituary
By her sister:
Nora Traill / Mackinnon

(BA Herald – 4 March, 2001
Source: P. Benitz / GABH)

Missing image.

Sunday, 4 March, 2001 — Buenos Aires Herald

An obituary — G. A. Benitz

Gertie Benitz was born into the Traill family that owned land in the south of the province of Santa Fé.  Her parents gave great importance to education and she was sent to Sherbourne School in England.  When she finished the headmistress strongly recommended that she go on to Cambridge University – she was offered a bursary.  But Gertie knew how much her education had cost her farther already and, besides, she wanted to come home to Argentina.

Until the Second World War broke out she divided her time between secretarial jobs in Buenos Aires, the “camp”, and polo.  The Traills had been connected with Argentine polo since its beginnings in the final decade of the nineteenth century.

In 1940 she married George Hall, the son of an Englishman, who had come to work in in Argentina, married and settled here.  They met on the ship in which they were both travelling to England to volunteer for the Armed Forces.  Gertie joined the WAAF, George the Navy; both rose to be officers.  She gave up her post in the operations room of an RAF station on the east coast a few months before her son was due to be born.  Gertie received the news of her husband’s death on an aircraft carrier that was torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay, on November 26, 1942.  Their son was born on December 3.

After the war she returned to Argentina with her little boy and helped her father run the family farm.  One day she decided to take an active part in the doma [tamming].  I remember her father’s anxious face and the concentration of the two men whose job was to keep the buckiong horse off the fences.  It was not allowed many bucks before, to her disgust, they crowded in to snatch her off.

In 1946 she married Malcolm Benitz, a childhood friend who belonged to the same group of English-speaking families who settled that part of the province of Santa Fé.  They had two sons.

Gertie was not one for small talk and tea parties.  Her interests, apart from her family, were farm management, horses, riding and polo.  Malcolm and she had polo ponies as well as cattle and crops on their farm and spent much of their spare time during the season organizing tournaments and helping to run the Las Rosas Polo Club.  Gertie was, as far as I know, the only female umpire registered with the Argentine Polo Association.

Malcolm died in 1986.  In 1981 Gertie suffered a stroke that left her semi-paralized.  Her mind was hardly affected.  She spent the last ten years of her life dependent on others, a particularly difficult position stoically endured, for one of her character.  She died February 13, and is buried beside Malcolm in the Benitz family cemetery among trees and fields in the countryside she loved.

A loving and unselfish mother, intelligent, loyal to her friends and inspiring loyalty in those who worked for her, honest to a fault and true to her convictions, there are not many Gerties around, more’s the pity.

She will be remembered with affection and respect.

— Nora Mackinnon

( Nora Mackinnon, Gertie’s sister.)


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)