Claude Leopold Beaumont 1881 - 1917

CL Beaumont reburial details following discovery of locket
(CWGC)
CL Beaumont memorial on family gravestone, St Andrews, Cherry Hinton
(Sturon)

Claude was baptised at Harston parish church on 6 March 1881, the son of Augustus & Olivia Beaumont, Headmaster & mistress of Harston school. He was one of seven children living in the school house. Some time before 1901 he moved to Hammersmith & shared a house with his sister Lilian & brother Oswald Percy. He married Una Mary Nobbs (nee Mitcham) of Haig Road, Cambridge in 1907 and had two daughters, Enid & Betty. At this time he was a family butcher. Prior to enlisting he had moved back to Cambridge & was living at 60 Rock Road with his brothers Edgar & Oswald Percy who both fought and returned.

He enlisted at Westminster in 1914 as a Lance Sergeant in 16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) (Territorial Force) London Regiment. His enlistment was reported in the Cambridge Independent Press on 2nd October 1914:

Roll of Honour included Percy & Claude Beaumont, Harston, being Old Perseans and sons of the late master of the County School (they were enrolled into the Grenadier Guards & Queen’s Wesminsters, respectively).

Claude was posted ‘Missing, believed dead’ on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, but his death was not reported locally until the Cambridge Independent Press on 23rd February 1917:

Sergeant Claude Leopold Beaumont of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles was killed at Gommecourt on 1 July, leaving a widow & 2 children.

The following is from http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/CambridgeStJohns.html

Lance Sergeant, Claude Leopold Beaumont, was sitting in the trenches somewhere to the west of Gommecourt, in Belgium on 30th June listening to the thunderous roar of the guns that had been bombarding the German lines continuously since 0700 hours on the 24th June. He was part of the Third Army being directed by 1st Viscount Edmund Henry Allenby. In the final 65 minutes before zero hour no fewer than 224,221 shells were fired at the enemy lines and 10 huge mines were detonated below the enemy strongpoints. As soon as the bombardment ceased, the attack by the Allied troops began. Claude was ordered to go over the top of his trench to start his attack. The Germans came up out of their deep underground bunkers and manned the machine guns. They could not believe their eyes when they saw all these lines of troops half walking, half running towards them. They just squeezed the triggers of the machine guns and kept firing. British losses at the end of the first hour were 30,000, by nightfall the British Army had lost 60,000 men, the greatest loss in any one day of its entire history.

Claude’s body was found in 1924, when the War Graves Commission was clearing up the French & Belgian battlefields. He was identified by a locket found on him.

He is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France. Plot XXII Row C Grave 16.

He is also on the Perse School memorial, a plaque in St John’s church, Hills Road and on a gravestone plot E99 in Cherry Hinton churchyard

This page was added on 08/11/2018.

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