Captain Bueth Vernon Sim

Thank you to Jane Anthony and Lenka Cathersides for this research.

Born into a wealthy professional class family at Kensington on  the 18th September 1888. His father James Duncan Stuart Sim, born in Nellore, Madras, India, was a barrister who later became the Chief Registrar for Friendly Societies in 1904. There is a portrait of his in the National Portrait Gallery. His mother was born Frances Nora Pretthie Gore in Clifton, Gloucestershire.

James’s father and Bueth’s grandfather James Duncan Sim Esq was the part of the Madras Civil Service in India. He died on the 4th of January 1888 in Moxley near Dorking leaving over £7,778.

Bueth’s parents married on the 22nd of September 1887 in Clifton, Bristol.

Bueth had one sister called Nora G. Sim who was born abt 1890 in Kensington, London.

At the time of the 1901 Census, Bueth’s parents and sister were living at Ravens Croft in Nutfield, Reigate, Surrey. His father James was working as a Barrister of law and the family kept 5 servants (a governess, parlormaid, cook, housemaid and kitchen maid).

Bueth was educated at Cheltenham College and was commissioned ino the army as a second Lieutenant in 1911. In 1913 he immigrated to Canada to become a farmer. At the outbreak of War he enlisted as a private in Lord Strathcona’s Regiment, which was part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In January 1915 he was granted a commison in the 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, The Duke of Cambridge’s.

Bueth was over 5 feet and 8 inches tall. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He was a member of the Church of England. His disguising mark was a small scar on his upper lip.

According to his Canadian attestation paper, Bueth served for 7 months in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 2 years in the 4th North Staffordshire Regiment as a subaltern and from May 1911 a year and half in the Special Reserve Middlesex Regiment. He resigned from the Middlesex Regiment in 1913 in order to take up farming in British Columbia.

Bueth Vernon Sim Lord Strathcona's Horse Nominal Roll © archive.org
Bueth Vernon Sim Lord Strathcona’s Horse Nominal Roll © archive.org

On the outbreak of war he volunteered for active service. He enlisted into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on the 22nd September 1914 at Valcaltier Camp. On his attestation paper it is stated that he was a farmer. Bueth became the part of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). He was a private and his regimental number was 2706.

With the Lord Strathcona’s, Bueth sailed to England where on the 14th of November 1914 he again received a commission in the Middlesex Regiment and joined the 4th Battalion at the front in January 1915. He became a Lieutenant with regimental number 2706 and later Captain.

He died of wounds on 7th May 1915, after being shot in the head on Hill 60.

Officer’s effects reads that Bueth left to his mother Frances Nora Prittie and John Cleverly Lake Esq £86, 15s, 9d. The couple also received £4041, 12s, 8d during probate. Bueth is stated in a probation document to live at 25 Holland Street, Kensington, London.

Bueth was awarded the British, Victory and the 1915 Star.

Bueth Vernon Sim Graves Registration Report © CWGC
Bueth Vernon Sim Graves Registration Report © CWGC
Bueth Vernon Sim Grave Register © CWGC
Bueth Vernon Sim Grave Register © CWGC

He is buried at the Divisional Cemetery, Dickebush Road, Ypres. His grave reference number is A.8. He was 26 years old.

His name is also on the memorial at Vernon British Columbia. The town of Vernon was founded by Forbes Georg Vernon possibly a relative, given that Bueth’s middle name was also Vernon. Although Bueth’s sister Gertrude born in 1890, is mentioned in family details no mention is made of Bueth.

Born                            Kensington, London
Lived                           Nutfield, Reigate

Occupation                  Farmer

Son of                        James Duncan Stuart and Frances Nora Prittie Sim, of Reigate.
Grandson of               James Duncan Sim of Moxley, Holmbury St. Mary

Regiment                     4th Battalion,  (Middlesex Regt) The Duke of Cambridge’s
Number                       2706

Date of Death              7th May 1915
Place of Death             Ypres, Belgium
Cause of Death           Died of Wounds

Age                              26

Cemetery                     Divisional Cemetery, Ypres