1901, Moedwil

BEES, WILLIAM, Private, was born on 12 September 1872 at Loughborough, Leicestershire, son of William and Jane Bees. He was educated at the Board School, and joined the Derbyshire Regiment on 7 March, 1890. He served on the Indian Frontier in 1897-98, taking part in the Tirah Campaign, 1897-98 (Medal). He again saw active service in the South African War of 1899-1902. For his services in this campaign (1899-1901), he received the Queen's Medal with three bars, the King's Medal with two bars, was made Corporal on the field of battle on winning the VC, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 17 December 1901]: "W Bees, Private, 1st Battalion The Derbyshire Regiment. Private Bees was one of the Maxim-gun detachment which, at Moodwil, on the 30th September 1901, had six men hit out of nine. Hearing his wounded comrades asking for water, he went forward, under a heavy fire, to a spruit held by Boers, about 500 yards ahead of the gun, and brought back a kettle full of water. In going and returning he had to pass within 100 yards of some rocks, also held by Boers, and the kettle which he was carrying was hit by several bullets". He was discharged on the 18th September 1902. In October 1914, he joined Kitchener's Army, but was discharged through sickness. He rejoined again, 6 April, 1915 (Sherwood Foresters), and was at Whit-burn, Sunderland, until transferred to the Durham Light Infantry at Blythe and South Shields. He was transferred to Class W, for mining after serving for 1 year and 133 days with the Colours (character good). He enlisted again in the Royal Army Service Corps on 30 January 1918, and was transferred to the Army Reserve in consequence of Demobilization on 6 February 1919. He was discharged. Private Bees was married at All Saints' Church, Loughborough, on 25 April, 1903. His wife's name is Sarah, and they have two children: Charles William and Lilian Elizabeth.

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