F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Malky – Malco
1924 – 1934

Malcolm was likely first taught at home by a governess.  However, per his passport (see below), he arrived in England in late 1924 or early 1925, leaving 18 months later, in May, 1926.  He was 8 and 9 years old when he attended Misses Bradnacks school in Canford Cliffs (Poole), west of Bournmouth, Dorset.  Uncle Alfred, during his trip to England in 1925, visited Malcolm there:

June 19:  ...Saw Malkie at his school Misses Bradnacks....

June 20:  ...In afternoon took Miss Garrett & Corina & Malkie for a drive about 30 miles in a car supplied by hotel to Lynhurst where we had tea, & around thro New Forest. Saw lots of the Forest ponies – miserable things...

June 22:  ...Bought & sent a small microscope to Malkie, Canford Cliffs.

  When about ten, Malcolm was put in Oats Prep. School, a boarding school in Moron, Buenos Aires (1927?-1928).  When Mr. Cuff, the headmaster, closed the school to take a position at St. George’s College, most of Malcolm’s friends followed.  However, to his disgust, Malcolm’s parents took him back to England and put him in schools there.  He first attended Amesbury Prep. School in Hindhead, Surrey (1929-1931, ages 12-14 years), then Stowe in Buckinghamshire (Chatham House, 1931-1934, ages 14-16 years).  He enjoyed exploring the fields around his schools, poking in hedges, collecting animals.  He did not do so well academically and returned to Argentina without finishing his secondary education.

His sister, Corina, asks in her postcard of 21 Sept., 1931 (see below): “Have you had any beatings lately?!” Her punctuation suggests she found the possibility amusing – here is probably why:  Malcolm had a master (teacher) who mispronounced his R’s as W’s.  This master had a habit, when writing on the blackboard, of reaching back and, without looking, taking a blackboard rubber (eraser) from his desk drawer.  So, one day Malcolm put a ferret in that drawer, which duly bit the master.  The horrified master danced about the class-room with the ferret dangling from his hand, crying out: “A wat! A wat!”  Malcolm told that story with relish – no mention of a caning.

While in England, Malcolm was taken care of by Mol (Frend) Hale, sister of his step-mother, Eileen (Frend) Benitz.  Malcolm adored Mol.  Later, during WW-II, her flat in London became his home away from home.  As per Corina’s post-card and his passport, he visited France on holiday more than once.  He told stories of skiing in France or Switzerland - and taking a tree between the legs.

Malcolm most likely returned to the Argentine during April, 1934 (see Rita Traill’s letter below).  During September of that year he accompanied Uncle Alfred on a visit to “Campo Winter” in the northern Chaco; the camp is on the south coast of the Rio Bermejo, north of the town of Zapallar (today: General San Martin).  Malcolm thoroughly enjoyed the trip; the camp was partly forested and filled with tropical wildlife (it still is).

Letters Received by Malcolm

Dad (Willie Benitz), 22 February, 1931; Bournemouth, Dorset, England (transcription & original)
Explains that due to injury he could not visit him on the weekend and organised it for the next.  Corina, Charles, & Moyra's health (respectively: injured, well, & recovering).  Other names mentioned: Miss Bradnack, Molly (Mol Frend ?)
Dad (Willie Benitz), 25 February, 1932; “La California”, F.C.C.A. (transcription & original)
Glad they had a good holiday (France?), arranging for Corina’s return to Argentina, & Malcolm’s Easter holidays.  Second page is all about 2 quite enjoyable weeks in the Córdoba hills escapting the locusts & heat.  Names mentioned: Mlle Dupriex (Paris), Mrs Frend, Mrs Rita Traill, Douglas family, Eric Davis (of Las Bandurias), Mr & Mrs Young; Hattie, Al, May, Frankie, & Jimmy Watt; Bernice, Jim, Jean & Frankie Bell; Marion, George, Jimmy, & Billy Roberts; Clarita Bell.
Mum (Eileen Benitz), 28 March, 1932; “Greystone”, Los Cocos
Account of camping trip at Pintos Arriba; packing up at Greystone; suggests he ask Johnny Traill for golf tips.  Many people mentioned.
Mum (Eileen Benitz), 7 April, 1932; “La California”, F.C.C.A.
Birthday wishes, he could buy himself a cricket-bat but not a gramaphone; doing well in school; dificulties with the trains from La Cumbre to Rosario; the bushes in flower at the Cali; possibility of his returning next year.
Corina Benitz, 17 April, 1932; RMS “Arlanza”, Bay of Biscay, next port: Coruña, Spain.
Departed England the day before; sad to leave him behind, cheering him up, he would be going home next year.
Rita Traill, 24 January, 1933; 71 Roehampton Lane, S.W. 15, London
Boots, skates, breeches, slippers, guns, ammunition, & don't catch a cold by falling in lakes; arranging for his passage on April 15th.


Missing image.

Malcolm, ca.1922
Córdoba Hills
(Source: S.B. Pryor)


Missing image.

Malcolm, 1923
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
(Source: P. Benitz)



Missing image.

Malcolm’s Passport, 1924-1926
(Source: P. Benitz)


Missing image.

Malcolm’s Passport Photo
27 November, 1924 – 7½ years old

(Source: P. Benitz)



Missing image.

Willie, Aileen, Corina, Malcolm, Moyra
Buenos Aires ⇒ Southampton

RMSP Arlanza – 1 January, 1929
(Source: National Archives, London, England
via: Ancestry.com


Missing image.

RMSP Arlanza
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
1912-1938, 14,930 tons
(Source: www.naval-history.net)



Missing image.

Malcolm, 1929 – 12 years old
Folkstone, Kent, England
(Source: P. Benitz)


Missing image.

Postcard from Rodney Sympson
2 August, 1929

“I have 2 guns & 2 pistols”
(Source: P. Benitz)



Missing image.

Diary: Trip in France
April & May, 1930

 Page Images 
(Source: P. Benitz)


Missing PDF.

Diary: Trip in France
April & May, 1930

(Source: P. Benitz)

MAP - coming



Missing image.

Postcard from Corina Benitz
21 September, 1931

St. Cast, Brittany, France
(Source: P. Benitz)


Missing image.

Postcard from Tommy M. Sympson
4 August, 1933

Ea. “El Venado”, Monte Buey, Cba
(Source: P. Benitz)


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)