Benjamin Raphael Vertannes

B. R Vertannes , Medals

Benjamin Raphael Vertannes was born in May 1892 in Yangon, Burma (then Rangoon) and baptised in the local Armenian church of St. John the Baptist. While the information about his parents is unclear, it seems there have been several people called Vertannes travelling back and forth between Burma, India and the UK at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of 20th.

He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company and first went to France in July 1915 – his travel records indicate that he arrived in London from Rangoon in March 1915.

Benjamin was wounded twice and spent some time in hospital before returning to the UK in November 1916. He became a Lieutenant in April 1917, joining the Royal Flying Corps and then was posted to No. 42 Squadron in Italy where he flew until  February 1918. According to his records, he participated in bombing raids, reconnaissance flights and contact with enemy aircraft. He was appointed an Acting Captain in October 1918 and relinquished his commission in April 1919.

He also married during the war, in Brentford in 1917 to Elsie L Fairey. Vertannes was awarded a Volunteer Force Long Service Medal in January 1923 and died in March 1953 in Lewisham.


Coronavirus Notice

Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large, so we ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our volunteers and staff are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from the week beginning on the 16 March 2020, all our services except the advice work are suspended until further notice.  This means the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are all suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend our face-to-face services and call NHS 111 for advice. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website ( to leave an enquiry or email us on to continue receiving our support.

If you are attending our face-to-face services at our centre, please wash your hands both on arrival and on leaving with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Please avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath but for full details you may search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.  – 14/3/2020