Edward Victor Beale

Rank Private
Service No 8/43753
Date of Death 12/10/1918
Age 22
Regiment/Service Seaforth Highlanders 1st/6th Battalion.
Cemetery Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy. Iwuy is a village approximately 8 kilometres north-east of Cambrai, France. It was occupied by British troops in the middle of October 1918, and Niagara Cemetery was made at this time. There are now over 200, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site.


Edward was born in 1896 in Thetford, Norfolk, to Edward (b.1871) and Mary Ann (b.1871), nee Bowles, Beale, who had married in Barnet in 1895. Edward had one brother, Harold Oliver, (b.1897).

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family still resided in Norfolk, but had moved to Fakenham where Edward’s father was a supervisory clerk at the post office.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Edward was living in London and working as a drapery warehouseman at 31 Milton Street, near what is now the Barbican Centre. His mother, now a widow, and younger brother, were living at the Post Office in St Osyth, 12 miles south-east of Colchester, Essex. Mary was a post-mistress and Oliver was at school. Ann stated that she had been married for 15 years (and this entry is crossed out) and had two children, both of whom are still living.

Edward enlisted in Addlestone, Surrey. He was a member of the Army Veterinary Corps, before joining the Seaforth Highlanders. Whilst defending the French village of Iwuy, during the 1918 Battle of Cambrai, his unit came under heavy fire and he died. The 11th, 12th and 13th of October 1918 saw some fierce fighting in the defence of this strategic village. The battalion’s diary refers to ‘at 10.45 on arrival the battalion came under shell fire ... the resulting casualties being, 1 officer (2nd Lieutenant) and 2 other ranks. The enemy used blue cross gas and high explosives.’   

Mary Ann Beale is listed in the 1924 electoral register as living at 43 Holly Park Road, Friern Barnet, N11, with William Ernest Bott and Herbert Edgar Tompkins. In 1925 and 1926 William Ernest Bott and Herbert Edgar Tompkins are still at the address but Mary is not listed.