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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
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Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Beales

Selected Biographies

Beales, Albert – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 23.10.1899.[1]  Parents: William Beales (Coconut Mat Maker’s Labourer) and Charlotte [née Josclyne].  Family Connections: Brother to William Cornelius Beales [b1886], Frederick George Beales [b1889] and Bertie Albert Beales [b1895].  Home: Little St Marys, Long Melford (1901 to 1921), The Lodge, Liston, Essex (1939).  Occupation: Factory Hand [1917], unemployed (1921), Joiner (1939).  Married: Maud Sparke in 1930.  Service Record: Albert was conscripted on 17.2.1917 as Pte.1691 with 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, transferring on 5.4.1918 to 2/1st Norfolk Yeomanry [The King’s Own Royal Regiment] stationed in Ireland, then on 19.11.1918 as Pte.23501 to the Army Cyclist Corps.  Albert was issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged in March 1919 due to sickness.[2]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1989.

Beales, Bertie ‘Bert’ Albert – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 14.2.1895.[3]  Parents: William Beales (Coconut Mat Maker’s Labourer) and Charlotte [née Josclyne].  Family Connections: Brother to William Cornelius Beales [b1886], Frederick George Beales [b1889] and Albert Beales [b1899].  Home: Little St Marys, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), 33 Cambridge Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (1939).  Occupation: Brewery Labourer (1901 and 1911), Soldier in a Royal Artillery Anti-Aircraft unit (1939).  Married: Jessie M. Page in 1928.  Service Record: Bert enlisted in August 1914 as Pte.2060 with 1/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, being posted on 10.8.1915 to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli as part of 163rd Brigade, 54th [East Anglian] Division.  Within hours of landing his unit was moved forward into frontline trenches on the south face of a steep and rocky hill called Karakol Dagh.  At dawn two days later the Suffolks and the three other untested battalions of 163rd Brigade were ordered to secure the heights to the east.  Advancing nearly a mile through a hail of Turkish artillery and machine gun fire, by the end of the day the enemy had been held at bay and a secure forward defence line established.  When he and the other men were finally relieved by fresh troops after three gruelling days, they were found in a sorry state, having baked under the searing heat they had run desperately short of drinking water and been plagued by swarms of flies attracted by the dead and dying around them.  When the Roll was called it was found the Suffolks alone had lost 186 men either dead or wounded with a further 150 laid low by dysentery.  Bert transferred as Pte.202139 to ‘C’ Company, 1/4th Battalion, Suffolks and was posted to France being captured at Guémappe near Arras in northern France on 23.4.1917, the opening day of the Second Battle of the Scarpe.[4]  He was held as a Prisoner of War at camps in Limburg, Friederichsfeld, Schneidemichl and Altdamm in Germany.[5]  He was repatriated with other British prisoners of war in December 1918.[6]  Died: Braintree, Essex in 1977.

Beales, Edward James – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 27.6.1899.[7]  Parents: William Beales (Railway Navvy) and Kate [née Scrivener] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to William Beales [b1892] and Stanley Clifford Beales [b1906]; also, brother-in-law of Alfred Herbert Spittal [b1890].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1901), St Marys Street, Long Melford (1911).  Service Record: Originally serving with 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade [The Prince Consort’s Own] on the Western Front, Edward transferred as Pte.425878 to 2/10th [County of London] Battalion [Hackney], London Regiment, as part of 175th Brigade, 58th [2/1st London] Division.  On 24.4.1918 after an intense barrage from German artillery the Battalion fought off a determined attack from enemy troops in Hangard Wood.  This action was part of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, which has the distinction of being the first tank on tank engagement in history.  Edward’s unit was taken out of the line two days later and did not return until 16.5.1918.[8]  Died: Private Beales died of wounds on 6.5.1918 at a Casualty Clearing Station at Longpré, probably sustained during the counterattack on Hangard Wood.  He is buried in Longpré-les-Corps Saints British Cemetery [grave ref: B.21], Somme, France and commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[9]

Beales, Frederick George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 8.7.1889.[10]  Parents: William Beales (Coconut Mat Maker’s Labourer) and Charlotte [née Josclyne].  Family Connections: Brother to William Cornelius Beales [b1886], Bertie Albert Beales [b1895] and Albert Beales [b1899]; also, brother-in-law of Jack Sansum [b1889] and Sydney Charles Sansum [b1892].  Home: Little St Marys/St Marys, Long Melford (1891 to 1939).  Occupation: Labourer for Stafford Allen and Sons, Distillers of Herbal Oils (1911), out of work Labourer (1921), Builder’s Labourer (1939).  Married: Minnie May Sansum in 1914.  Service Record: At baptism of his son in 1915 Fred is recorded as a Soldier.[11]  Although no definitive military record has been found he may have enlisted as Pte.240055 with 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.  If this assumption is correct, then he was later transferred to the regiment’s 2nd Battalion.  Both units saw action on the Western Front.[12]  Died: Ipswich in 1950.

Beales, James – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1836.  Parents: James Beales (Agricultural Labourer) and Mary Ann [née Albon].  Family Connections:].  Home: Bridge Street, Long Melford (1841), The Green, Long Melford (1851), Church Row, Long Melford (1861), Back Lane, Long Melford (1871 to 1881), St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1891), Lecture Hall Yard, Hall Street, Long Melford (1901 to 1911).  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1851 to 1871), Bricklayer’s Labourer (1881), Gardener (1891 to 1901)).  Married: Susannah Elizabeth Halls in 1859.  Newspaper Record: James and his wife were brought before the magistrates at the Melford Petty Session on 17.5.1878 on a charge of overcrowding their dwelling house.  When inspected it was found that there were ten persons living in the house; Beales, his wife and six children, plus their eighteen-year-old daughter Sarah as well as a lodger named Overton all accommodated in two upstairs rooms, while on the ground floor was one main living room and a scullery.  Mr and Mrs Beales were given notice by the court that ‘the nuisance be abated within a fortnight’.[13]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1916.

Beales, Stanley Clifford – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 1.5.1906.[14]  Parents: William Beales (Railway Navvy) and Kate [née Scrivener] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to William Beales [b1892] and Edward James Beales [b1899]; also, brother-in-law of Alfred Herbert Spittal [b1890] and Lewis Jones [b1914].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1911), 7 St James Road, Islington, London (1921), 88 Bingfield Street, Islington [1928], York Road, Islington [1929 to 1934], 8 Thornhill Crescent, Islington [1935 to 1938], 9 Mackenzie Road, Islington (1939), 21 Frobisher Close, Hartford, Huntingdonshire [1996].  Occupation: Van Guard for the Great Northern Railways (1921), Loader [1934], Motor Driver for the London and Northeastern Railway (1939).  Married: Elsie Louisa Maslin in 1934.  Service Record: Stanley was an Air Raid Precaution Warden in Islington during the Second World War.[15]  Died: Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire on 29.6.1996.[16]

Beales, William Cornelius – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 16.9.1886.[17]  Parents: William Beales (Coconut Mat Maker’s Labourer) and Charlotte [née Josclyne].  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick George Beales [b1889], Bertie Albert Beales [b1895] and Albert Beales [b1899].  Home: Little St Marys, Long Melford (1891 to 1911), 12 North Street, Sudbury, Suffolk (1921).  Occupation: Telegraph Messenger (1901), Invalid (1911), Shopkeeper (1921).  Married: Jane Lucy Offord in 1915.  Medical Record: On 2.3.1914 William contracted tuberculosis, which may be the reason why no definitive military record can be found.[18]   Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1934.

Beales, William ‘Willie’ – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 13.9.1892.[19]  Parents: William Beales (Railway Navvy) and Kate [née Scrivener] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Edward James Beales [b1899] and Stanley Clifford Beales [b1906]; also, brother-in-law of Alfred Herbert Spittal [b1890] and Lewis Jones [b1914].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1901), Southgate Street, Long Melford (1921), 6 Cloudesley Place, Holloway, London [1930], 7 Hartham Road, Holloway [1932], 32 Stock Orchard Crescent, Holloway [1933 to 1946].  Occupation: Temporary Porter for Great Eastern Railways [1919 to (1921).[20]  Married: Florence Emma Pryke in 1919.  Service Record: Willie enlisted as Pte.8130 with 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, being posted to France from 16.1.1915 as part of 84th Brigade, 28th Division.  On the evening of 15.2.1915 the enemy was advancing on Ypres and 1st Suffolks was ordered to reinforce a front-line position known as ‘O Trench’ to the east of the Belgian city.  By the time Willie’s unit had reached its objective it was found that nearly half of the trench was in German hands.  A brave attempt was made to retake the far end of the trench, but this attempt was beaten back by an enemy counterattack with grenade and machine gun fire.  As the official Regimental history simply states: ‘By dawn the survivors had all been taken prisoner’.[21]  Willie Barnes was one of their number and was taken to the Prisoner of War camp at Chemnitz in Saxony, situated fifty-three miles south-east of Leipzig.[22]  He was repatriated, with other British prisoners of war, in December 1918.[23]  

Related Biographies

Jones, Lsewis – Born: New Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales on 23.2.1914.[24]  Adopted Parents: Albert George Garnsworthy (Colliery Stoker below ground) and Mary Jane [née Price].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of William Beales [b1892] and Stanley Clifford Beales [b1906].  Home: Jubilee Road, New Tredegar, Monmouth, Wales [1914], 36 Roman Way, Islington, London (1939), 17 Mackenzie Road, Islington [1943].  Occupation: Civil Servant.  Married: Doris Agnes Beales of Long Melford in 1937.  Service Record: Lewis enlisted as Gnr.1580632 with 15 Battery, 6th [Heavy Anti-Aircraft] Regiment, Royal Artillery.  He was posted to Singapore and recorded as missing on 15.2.1942 when his unit was destroyed, having no artillery pieces they were reduced to fighting as infantry.  Lewis was captured by the Japanese on 8.3.1942 on Java and sent to a Prisoner of War Camp at Haroekooe on Java in the Dutch East Indies.[25]  Died: He was murdered while at sea aboard the cargo ship Suez Maru on 29.11.1943 when the ship was torpedoed by the USS Bonefish off the Kangean Islands in the Java Sea.  The Japanese mine sweeper W-12 picked up the Japanese survivors, leaving around 250 men in the sea, these were then machine-gunned on the orders of the Ship’s commander Captain Kawano.  Of the 547 British and Dutch prisoners only one survived.[26]  Lewis is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial [column 22] and with the other victims at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.[27]

Spittal, Alfred Herbert – Born: Takaka, Tasman, New Zealand on 9.5.1890.[28]  Parents: William Spittal and Esther [née Robinson].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of William Beales [b1892], Edward Beales [b1899] and Stanley Clifford Beales [b1906].  Home: Nelson, New Zealand.  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer [1915].  Married: Florence Annie Beales of Long Melford in 1917.  Service Record: Alfred enlisted on 27.5.1915 as Rfn.24/1198 with ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Trentham Regiment, 3rd New Zealand [Rifle] Brigade, being posted to the Somme Valley in France from April 1916 as part of the New Zealand Division.  On 15 September he was severely wounded during an attack on heavily fortified German positions during the opening phase of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.  The gunshot wound to the left side of his chest required eight months of treatment and recuperation in England.  He was discharged in October 1917 as no longer physically fit, due to wounds received and illness contracted while on active service.[29]  Died: Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand on 31.7.1953.[30]

Notes – [1] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 18.6.1900, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford and confirmed by the 1939 Register for Halstead Rural District in Essex. [2] Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: B292486], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [3] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 16.5.1895, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  Records for Bertie Beales show a variety of birth dates; his POW records at Limburg and Schiedermichl record 19.2.1895, Altdamm records 12.2.1895 and Freidrichsfeld 19.3.1894.  Admission Register 21.2.1898, St Catherines Infants School, Long Melford records his date of birth as 19.2.1895 as does the 1939 Register for Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and the Death Index. [4] For details of 1/4th Suffolk’s movements see War Diary [WO 952427/2] and for the action at Guémappe see Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. Murphy The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.225-27. [5] POW records International Committee of the Red Cross [file refs: PA12311, PA16464, PA17671 and PA19377]. [6] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [7] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 11.7.1899, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford. [8] For details of 2/10th London’s movements in 1918 see War Diary [WO 95/3009/5]. [9] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 718092].  [10] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford. [11] Baptism Register of 16.5.1915 for Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford [Bury Record Office ref: FL509/4/18].  [12] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [13] The Bury and Norwich Post 21.5.1878.  [14] Admissions Register of 19.1.1909 for St Catherines Infants’ School, Long Melford.  [15] 1939 Register.  [16] National Probate Calendar.  [17] Date of birth taken from the Baptism Register of 17.10.1886 for St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  [18] Tuberculosis: Register of Notification from Medical Practitioners [BRO ref: EF501/4/23].  [19] Date of birth is taken from his POW record. [20] Occupation taken from the National Union of Railwaymen Membership Register for 1919. [21] For details of 1st Suffolk’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/2277/3] and Murphy op. cit., pp.49-56. [22] POW record see International Committee of the Red Cross [file ref: PA19854].  For mention of Willie being held as a Prisoner of War see Long Melford Parish Magazine, September 1918. [23] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329].  [24] 1939 Register.  [25] [TNA – WO 345 Japanese POW Index Card].  [26] For details of the atrocity see www.roll-of-honour.org.uk/Hell_Ships/Suez_Maru/.  [27] Commonwealth War Grave Commission record.  [28] Date of birth taken from his military record.  [29] Service Record see www.NZarchway.archives.govt.nz [ref: 57/0108127].  For details of the action where Alfred was severely wounded see McCarthy pp.104-105.  [30] Photograph courtesy of www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C55851.  I am also grateful to Maryanne Richardson of Auckland, New Zealand for her help with the family details in this research.

Genealogical Tables

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2023
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