Herbert Beazley

Rifleman Herbert Beazley, Post Office Rifles, d. 17th July 1918, age 18 years 11 months.

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Herbert was born about 1899 in Wootton Bassett. His father was shoemaker and boot repairer John Beazley and his mother was Thirza nee Holloway. John Beazley was born in Calne, and Thirza was born in Wootton Bassett. On the 1911 census Herbert’s parents state that they had 16 children, of whom 4 had died, but I have identified that Herbert was actually the sixteenth of 17 children. It is hardly surprising if his parents lost count! By 1911 only three of the Beazley children remained at home, Reginald who was a labourer, Herbert who was 12 and still at school, and Agnes who was 19 and worked as a domestic servant. In 1914 the family still lived in Wood Street, at number 16.

Herbert was working as a postman in Wootton Bassett when he enlisted as a Rifleman in the 8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office
Rifles) (375962).

Herbert died of wounds in France on 17th July 1918.

Herbert is buried at Franvillers Communal Cemetery Extension, grave reference 2 A 3. He was awarded the Victory Medal, and the British War Medal. He was listed in the Wootton Bassett Scouts 1914-1918 Roll of Honour. He was also commemorated on the Post Office Roll of Honour in Swindon. His legatee was his father John.

Herbert’s parents inserted a tribute in the Herald in July 1919:

BEAZLEY – In ever loving memory of Rifleman H Beazley, Post Office Rifles, beloved youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Beazley, 16
Wood Street, Wootton Bassett, who died of wounds received in action, July 17th 1918, aged 18 years 11 months.

We little thought when we said goodbye,
We were to part, you were to die;
But the foreign grave was the bitterest blow,
None but an aching heart can know.

Inserted by his loving Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

Herbert’s older brother Arthur Beazley was killed less than four months before Herbert, on 30th March.

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