1900, Wakkerstroom

BEET HARRY CHURCHILL, Corporal, was born on 1 April, 1873, at Brackendale Farm, near Bingham, Notts, the son of Mr J A Beet, Sculptor. He joined the Sherwood Foresters on 18 February 1892, and sailed for India in January 1894, where he served throughout the fighting on the Punjab Frontier, 1897 and 1898 (Medal and two clasps). He served in the South African War of 1899-1902, and won the Victoria Cross while under immediate command of Captain P Leveson-Gower. He was once wounded in this campaign on 9 December 1901. He was promoted Sergeant by Lord Kitchener for service in the field. The Victoria Cross was presented to him at the capital of Natal on 14 August 1901, by HRH the Duke of York. His Victoria Cross was gazetted 12 February 1901: "Harry Churchill Beet, Corporal, 1st Battalion Mounted Infantry. At Wakkerstroom, on the 22nd April, 1900, No 2 Mounted Infantry Company, 1st Battalion Derbyshire Regiment, with two squadrons Imperial Yeomanry, had to retire from near a farm, under a ridge held by Boers. Corporal Burnett, Imperial Yeomanry, was left on the ground wounded, and Corporal Beet, on seeing him, remained behind and placed him under cover, bound up his wounds, and by firing prevented the Boers from coming down to the farm till dark, when Dr Wilson, Imperial Yeomanry, came to the wounded man's assistance. The retirement was carried out under very heavy fire, and Corporal Beet was exposed to fire during the whole afternoon". The 'Times' of 22 February 1916, says: "The appointment of H C Beet, VC, 32nd Reserve Canadian Infantry Battalion, to be temporary Lieutenant was gazetted last night".

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