Lest we forget…the Bealey’s and the Great War part 1

Poppy

An evocative image of trench warfare in the Great War.

The Bealey family were involved in World War I, or The Great War as it is sometimes known, both as a family and as a business. Over the next few blogs, I will be telling their stories.

With the help of Philip Mather from the Fusiliers Museum in Bury, I have discovered the story of two members of the Bealey family who died in the conflict and this blog is about the first of these family members.

Major Frederick Arthur Harold Bealey

Frederick Bealey
Major Frederick Arthur Harold Bealey at Bad Colberg prisoner of war camp, 1918. He is holding a double photograph of his wife Muriel and daughter Felice who was 9 years old.

F.A.H. Bealey had already served for 10 years with the Lancashire fusiliers and had resigned his Commission in 1900. However, when war broke out he rejoined with his old rank of captain and was promoted to Major in May 1915.

He went to France in May 1917 but was wounded in four places and taken prisoner on 21 March 1918 just east of Peronne. Over the next nine months, he was moved between four different prisoner of war camps in Germany, the last one being at Bad Colberg, Saxony.

The armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

The day before peace was signed, Frederick was attacked by influenza and later died from bronchial pneumonia on Sunday, 17 November at the age of 38.

Niederzwehren Cemetery

Niederzwehren Cemetery, Frederick's last resting place a long way from his home in Bury, Lancashire.

He is buried in the Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Hessen in Germany along with 1795 other World War I servicemen who are buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot there.

“His cheerfulness in misfortune and the patient fortitude with which he bore the long-lasting trouble of his wounds earned for him the admiration of us all”. Brig.-General Dawson, D.S.O., head officer in the Bad Colberg camp.

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About bealey

Bury archives has employed a professional project archivist, Gillian Paxton, who is sorting through the papers of the Bealey family and their company The Bealey Bleachworks based in Radcliffe near Bury. These records are being catalogued so they can be made available to the public.
This entry was posted in Bealey Connections, The Bealey Papers. Bookmark the permalink.

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