Private William Beadle

Thank you to John Callcutt for letting us reproduce the following information, taken from his book: A Village at War. Newdigate in World War One.

William Beadle was baptised in Newdigate in 1888, one of twelve children born to Francis F. (known as Frank) and Ellen (nee Saunders) Beadle. Four of William’s siblings died in infancy but the rest of the family grew up at Cider Mill Farm where his father Frank was the estate carpenter and engine driver. The Beadles had been wedded to Newdigate for generations. As was common in remote communities, people stayed in the area for centuries and inter-married into other Newdigate families. Ellen’s father James farmed 160 acres at Nyes and lived there with his wife and eight children, while young Frank worked as a labourer there – he had left home probably because he was one of a large family and space was very limited in a small cottage. Frank married Ellen in 1876 when she was nineteen, just as previous generations of Beadles had married into other long-established Newdigate families such as the Wellers and Horleys. William worked as a gardener in Uxbridge and enlisted into the East Surrey Regiment at Harrow-on-the-Hill. The 9th Service Battalion (The Gallants) was raised as part of Kitchener’s Army at Kingston-Upon-Thames and landed at Boulogne on the 1st September 1915.

On the day of his death, the 16th August 1916, the battalion had just relieved the 8th Queen’s Regiment in the trenches south of the Guillemont-Trones Wood Road. C & D Companies were selected to carry out an attack on a German stronghold but the attack failed. The commanding officer laid out six reasons for the failure, the main one being that the supporting artillery barrage was poor and was not even discernible to the men. The let and right flanks were exposed to rifle and machine-gun fire. 9 officers and 181 other ranks were killed, wounded or missing in that day’s fighting.

William Beadle was 28 years of age, and as his body was never found, his name is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

Son of                          Francis F. (Frank) and Ellen (nee Saunders) Beadle of Cider Mill Farm, Newdigate, Surrey

Regiment                     9th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Number                       4125

Date of Death              16th August 1916
Place of Death             Somme, France
Cause of Death            Killed in Action

Age                              28

Cemetery                    Thiepval Memorial

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