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 Surname   Forename   No   Rank   Notes   Unit 
BeetonT JLieutenantFrontier Wars. SAGS (1) 1879Rustenburg Native Contingent
BeetonW1st Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
Highland Light Infantry
BeetonW3765Lance CorporalQSA (3).
Source: QSA medal rolls
12th (The Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers
BeetonW C3765PrivateD.C.M. London Gazette 27 September 1901 (Army Order No. 15 of January 1902). William Charles Beeton, who was born in Pembroke, enlisted in the 12th Lancers direct from the 1st (Volunteer) Battalion, The Welch Regiment in December 1893, aged 18 years. Embarked for South Africa in October 1899, he quickly saw action in what became known as “Black Week”, when he manned a Maxim with great gallantry in the costly engagement at Magersfontein on 11 December. The History of the XII Royal Lancers, by Captain P. E. Stewart, M.C., states: ‘In an effort to relieve the pressure on the unfortunate Highlanders Major-General Babbington was sent with the 9th and 12th Lancers and ‘G' Battery R.H.A. to try and find a way round the Boer left flank, but he was almost immediately held up by fire from a low ridge on his front. It was clear, however, that the Highland Brigade was in need of immediate assistance. Therefore, while the 9th Lancers were sent to work their way round the flank, ‘G' Battery, with an escort of ‘B' Squadron of the Regiment, was sent forward with orders not to halt and come into action until stopped by fire. Major Bannatyne Allason at once led his battery forward at a trot through scattered groups of Highlanders to a low knoll, known today as Horse Artillery Hill, where the guns were man-handled up the reverse slope and went effectively into action. To protect ‘G' Battery and to assist the infantry in the dead ground immediately in front of the knoll Lord Airlie was ordered to take forward the remaining two squadrons of the Regiment dismounted, accompanied by a party of Mounted Infantry under Major Milton. Accordingly he led them forward into the low scrub, ‘A' Squadron in the centre, ‘C' on the right, and the maxim in the right rear, and here, under the hot sun and from behind the cover of odd stones and bushes, a bitter close-range fight raged between the Regiment and the Boer marksmen until the afternoon. Lieutenant Macnaughten with the maxim especially distinguished himself. With three men badly wounded and all his horses killed he kept the gun firing throughout the action and eventually brought it out with the help of the infantry when the Regiment withdrew. For this service Macnaughten was awarded the D.S.O. and Private Beeston (sic), who had taken the place of the wounded Sergeant Hurry, gained the D.C.M.' In a letter home to his cousin, written at Modder River a fortnight later, Beeton wrote: ‘Just a line to let you know I am all right. We had a big fight on the 11th at Magersfontein, no doubt about it. We fought all day and lost 4 killed and 21 wounded in our regiment. It was an awful battle; the bullets were dropping like showers of rain, but God spared me through it all. I shall never forget that day; from daylight till dark without a drop to drink or a bit to eat, only just what we brought with us, and the sun was terrible, but we beat them and that was all that was wanted. We slept on the battlefield all night and next morning on our ambulance going round looking for wounded the cowards shelled us, and they are what are called civilised people. When we get at them we will show them no mercy, but cut them up. Whilst the Guards were marching by their trenches, a Boer pulled a poor little drummer boy in and cut his dear little throat. Some of the men got him and he fell on his knees and cried for mercy, but the boys made his body like a riddle with their bayonets ... ' News of Beeton's gallantry at Magersfontein quickly spread among the inhabitants of his hometown, largely thanks to a letter written by a fellow ‘Pembroke boy', Private Thomas Griffiths of the Army Service Corps: ‘I never saw him in the country, but I heard of him with the maxim gun at Magersfontein. He stood for 16 hours firing the gun when all his comrades had fallen around him in the fight. I also heard that he had been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but I don't think he will receive it as there is nothing to be given owing to Lord Methuen having the defeat, or, rather, that sad repulse, as it was neither a Boer defeat or an English defeat, but I hope he will get something for the brave deeds he has done ... ' As it transpired, Beeton did indeed receive the D.C.M., undoubtedly on the back of his “mention” in Lord Roberts' ensuing despatch, and enjoyed a period of leave on his return to the U.K. in June 1900. Rejoining his regiment back in South Africa in March 1901, he served there for the remainder of the War and was re-embarked for the U.K. in September 1902. Mobilised from the Army Reserve in August 1914, he was embarked for France with his old regiment in early September and, no doubt, played his part in the storming of Wytschaete that November. In fact he remained on active service in France and Flanders right through to August 1918, was awarded the French Medaille Militaire (London Gazette 12 July 1917 refers) and was advanced to Sergeant in November 1917. He was finally demobilised in September 1919, but returned to uniform as a Special Constable and as a member of the Home Guard from May 1940 to December 1944. Distinguished Conduct Medal, E.VII.R. (3765 L.-Corpl. W. Beeton, 12th Lancers); Queen's South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (3765 Pte., 12 R. Lancers), single initial ‘W.'; King's South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (3765 Pte., 12th Lancers); 1914 Star, with clasp (3765 L. Cpl., 12/Lrs.); British War and Victory Medals (L-3765 Sjt., 12-Lrs.); Defence Medal 1939-45; Special Constabulary Long Service, G.V.R., coinage bust (William Beeton); French Medaille Militaire, silver, gilt and enamel. DNW Jun 07 £6,800
Source: DCM recipients
12th (The Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers
BeetonW C3765PrivateMID LG: 10 September 1901, page: 5929. Source: Field Marshal Roberts. 4 September 1901. Re: General mentions
This page contains all the London Gazette pages for the Boer War
12th (The Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers
BeetonW MCaptainFrontier Wars. SAGS (0). WoundedRustenburg Native Contingent
BeetsFransSource: QSA and KSA medal rollsWillowmore DMT
BeetsFrans CorneliusBurgerCommando: Beaufortwes. Click here to access the record in the ForumBoer Forces
BeetsP J DSource: QSA and KSA rollsCape Garrison Artillery
BeetsS MSource: QSA and KSA rollsCape Garrison Artillery
BeetzeWC Troop
Source: WO100/247
Farmer's Guard (Burgher Police)
BeeufL AChaplainBSACM Rhodesia 1896 (0).
Source: BSACM rolls
Salisbury Field Force
BeeveJ S3rd battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
Grenadier Guards
BeeverHSource: QSA and KSA medal rollsColdstream Guards
BeeversT2nd Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
(Prince of Wales's Own) West Yorkshire Regiment
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