From my dad:
The name Wyndham is Anglo-Saxon, and derives from Benjamin’s great-great grandfather Wyndham Kent Wise, a businessman, contractor and world traveler born in the late nineteenth century. In the 1920s Wyndham was in Shanghai as a contractor, working on the building of the Bank of England, locally famous for its unique gold foil roof. His son, Wyndham Townend Wise, and Wyndham Townend’s mother, Louisa Townend, visited great-great grandfather Wyndham in Shanghai before returning to England with his mother on the newly completed Trans-Siberian railroad from Vladivostok to Moscow.
Wyndham Townend Wise, Benjamin Wyndham’s great-grandfather, was a mechanic on the ERA racing team of the then famous Raymond Mays, who domninated the Voiturette Circuit (Equivalent to today’s Formula 2 racing) in Europ before the Second World War, a fact that has undoubtedly contributed to his family’s weakness for speed, and the resulting high insurance costs of keeping the family on the road. Wyndham Townend signed on for WW2, and served in Kenya for two and a half years until the Italian and German campaigns there were completed, and later in what is now Bangladesh, stationed at Cheriga, just south of Chittagong, in a forward base that supplied munitions and logistical support to the campaign against the Japanese in Burma. Following the war he settled in Colchester, just outside London, England, and had two sons, Wyndham and Stephen, and a daughter, Rosemary.
In 1985, Benjamin’s father, then 5, spent a year in Bangladesh, where Stephen, Benjamin’s grandfather, taught at a missionary school, mere miles from where his father had served. Stephen is now a teacher in St. Thomas, Ontario. Benjamin’s great uncle Wyndham Paul Wise is the former editor of Take One magazine, for 13 years the foremost magazine of English language film in Canada.
I chose Wyndham as the middle name because I knew it was in the family, and I really like the sound of it. Our nurse said he could be an author with that name. I don’t know if that’s what he’ll be, but that’s funny because, as Laura Bolt pointed out, John Wyndham happens to be an outstanding author, and I don’t mind at all that our son shares his name.
For those unsure of the pronunciation, it’s Win-dum. And Benjamin Wyndham is resting happily in his grandma’s arms right now.