Private Robert Matthew Beatham VC

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Private Robert Matthew Beatham VC

    On 9 August 1918, the 8th Battalion was held up at Rosieres, France. Private Beatham, assisted by others, rushed forward and bombed and fought the crews of four guns, thus allowing the advance to continue and saving many casualties. A few days later, Beatham, though wounded, rushed another machine gun and bombed and silenced it.

    In this final act Robert Beatham was riddled with bullets and killed. It was 11 August 1918. He was 24

    Robert Beatham was English, and was born at Glassonby in Cumbria on 16 June 1894, one of nine sons of John and Elizabeth Beatham. He left school at 14 and worked at manual occupations in England. Robert emigrated to Australia with his brother Walter in 1913, and worked as a labourer in Victoria, before enlisting in the AIF in January 1915. He was initially sent to Suez and served at Gallipoli, landing in the second wave of the initial landing on 25 April. Beatham had to return to Australia for medical reasons, resuming his service in time to be sent to France in September 1915.

    Seven of the Beatham brothers served in the War, as did their father. Three of the brothers were to die in the conflict within five months of each other. Beatham's father with the 21st Battalion, also served at Gallipoli, arriving with reinforcements in late August 1915.

    Birth - Jun. 16, 1894
    Death - Aug. 11, 1918

    Anglo-Australian WWI recipient of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom’s highest award for valor. Private, 8th Bttn., Victoria Regiment, AIF. Born in Glassonby, Cumberland, England, Beatham emigrated to Australia and was a laborer in Geelong, Victoria, before signing up for duty on January 8th, 1915. He was wounded in 1916 at Pozieres during the Battle of the Somme and again at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in 1917. Beatham was awarded his V.C. for action at Rosiere, France, August 9, 1918. From his citation: "For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice during the attack north of Rosieres, east of Amiens, on 9th Aug., 1918. When the advance was held up by heavy machine gun fire, Pte. Beatham dashed forward, and, assisted by one man, bombed and fought the crews of four enemy machine guns, killing ten of them and capturing ten others, thus facilitating the advance and saving many casualties. When the final objective was reached, although previously wounded, he again dashed forward and bombed a machine gun, being riddled with bullets and killed in doing so. The valour displayed by this gallant soldier inspired all ranks in a wonderful manner." Beatham's V.C. was received by his mother from King George V at Buckingham Palace, March 8, 1919. It is now on display at the United Service Club, Brisbane

    He is buried at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France.

    His VC medal is lodged with the United Service Club, 183 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane. It sold in 1999 for a then record price for an Australian VC

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