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Father Benedict Williamson had an unusual life. He was a successful architect and designed many churches and schools, several of which are still standing today. He became a Catholic in 1896 (when he changed his name) and was subsequently ordained for the Archdiocese of Southwark. He was much involved in the refoundation of the Brigettine Order and made a failed attempt to establish a male branch of it.


He became an Army chaplain and arrived in France in time for the Battle of Messines, posted a Casualty Clearing Station associated, in particular, with the the 47th (London ) Division; but was soon transferred to the 49th and, in particular, to 1/5th Duke of Wellington's Regiment, with which he served until after the Armistice.


After the war he returned to his diocese and continued to design new churches.He moved to Rome and continued his association with the Brigettines, at the same time writing a number of books with a religious and spiritual theme. An early admirer of Mussolini, he remained in Rome during the war and was involved in Monsignor O'Flaherty's Vatican based help line for allied PoWs and the hiding of the Jews.