Mr and Mrs Lancelot Dent

Brief biographies of Lancelot and Beatrice Dent, the driving forces behind the London Ambulance Column.

Male silhouetteLancelot Wilkinson Dent was born on19th October 1868 in Hilperton, Wiltshire and was the son of the Rev Charles and Marion Dent (nee Marshall). At that time Charles was the curate at Hilperton. By 1871 the family had moved to London and were living at 2 Westmoreland Road, Paddington. At that time, the household consisted of Charles and Marion, Lancelot aged two, a daughter Marion aged four months and also two servants.

Lancelot’s father, The Rev. Charles Dent was the eldest son of Thomas Dent of Dent & Co who were China tea and opium merchants. They were second only to Jardine Matherson & Co as merchants on the China coast and were amongst the founding committee of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

Lancelot was educated at Eton and in 1887 entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge although there is no record of him graduating. The 1891 census shows him aged 22 and living with his parents, sister and six servants. His occupation is shown as a merchant’s clerk. In the 1911 census, his occupation is shown as a silk merchant. Later he was in business with Lancelot Dent & Co in Cannon Street, London.

In 1901 he was appointed as one of His Majesty’s Lieutenants for the city of London, a post he held until his death. In 1918 Lancelot was awarded the OBE. In 1924 he was appointed a Knight of Grace of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

Lancelot married Beatrice Holdsworth Dimsdale on 11th February 1899 at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, Paddington. His father, the Rev Charles Dent was the officiating minister.

The witnesses were Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale, A. Holdsworth Dimsdale,   B. Dimsdale, Montague C. Dent and Sabine M. Dent,

Lancelot died in Warwickshire in 1947.

Female silhouetteBeatrice Holdsworth Dimsdale was born 19th July 1878 in Kensington, the daughter of Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale and his wife Beatrice Eliza Bower Holdsworth.

Beatrice’s father, Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale, was MP for the City of London from 1900 to 1906 and Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1901. He was later to become Sir Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale, 1st Baronet Dimsdale, Privy Councillor and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order,

In later life Beatrice was appointed an Associate of the Order of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC), a Dame of Justice of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (DJStJ) and Lady Superintendent-in-Chief of the St John Ambulance Brigade Overseas.

Beatrice died in 1967.

Lancelot and Beatrice appear to have had only one child. Their daughter Beatrice Marion Dimsdale Dent was born on 9th December 1899 at 20 Devonshire Terrace, Paddington and baptised on 16th January 1900 at Christ Church Paddington by her Grandfather, Rev. Charles Dent.