Sergeant Edgar BEALE (PS/3442 )
16 Platoon, D Company, 19th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (2nd Public Schools)

Date of birth: 2nd December 1892
Date of death: 2nd January 1916

Killed in action aged 23
Buried at Cambrin Military Cemetery Row E Grave 27
Edgar Beale was born at The Mills, Frensham in Surrey on the 2nd of December 1892 the only son of Edgar Beale, a miller and farmer, and Katherine Anne (nee Langrishe) Beale of Stream Cottage, Middle Bourne, Frensham. He was christened at St Mary’s Church, Frensham on the 11th of January 1893.

He was educated at Mr Poole’s Preparatory School, Hadleigh House in Littlehampton and at Lancing College where won an Exhibition and was in News House from September 1906 to July 1911. He was a Corporal in the Officer Training Corps.

In 1911 he went on to Peterhouse College Cambridge where he gained an Officer Training Corps certificate. On leaving university he was engaged in milling and farming.

He enlisted in the University and Public Schools Battalion Royal Fusiliers at Epsom in September 1914 and landed in France on the 12th of November 1915 where he became platoon Sergeant for 16 Platoon in D Company of the 19th Battalion.

He was killed on the La Bassée Road between Annequin and Beuvry near Bethune.

An officer from his battalion wrote to his father:-

"On behalf of No 16 Platoon, D Company 19th Royal Fusiliers, I would offer you the men's sincerest sympathy in the loss of your son, who was killed on Sunday, the 2nd instant. At the time we were leaving the trenches, and in point of fact were actually on the road when the enemy opened shell fire on our troop. Unfortunately your son was hit, but I should like to add that death was instantaneous, and he knew no pain or suffering. Since we have been out here your son was not only our Platoon Sergeant , but also our Platoon Commander, and it will be a comfort for you to know that we all had every confidence in him as our leader, and the loss is felt very keenly by all."

Another wrote:-

"It is my very sad duty to give you unofficial notification of your son's death in action. He was killed by a shell while returning from the trench, after our company had been badly bombarded and had lost ten dead and twenty wounded. I trust, sir, you will accept my most sincere sympathy in this your sad bereavement. your son had had the sole management of a platoon and had shown himself to be a man of the finest quality. He will be much missed by his men and officers. We had stood to arms the whole of the previous night, expecting an attack, during which time your son showed exemplary conduct in cheering the men, in spite of the fact that he had had almost no sleep for three days. In his death we have lost a brave and cheery comrade, but gained an example of self sacrifice to duty."

He is commemorated on the Frensham Memorial and is remembered on a plaque inside St Mary’s Church there.

The inscription reads :-

“To the glory of God and in loving memory of Edgar Beale, Sergeant and Acting Platoon Commander 19th Royal Fusiliers UPS. Only son of Edgar and Katherine Ann Beale of this parish killed in action at La Bassée January 2nd 1916 aged 25 years.Greater love hath no man than this".