Jump to content

Remembered Today:

Americans in the Canadian army


SJ CLARK
 Share

Recommended Posts

May I ask if there is anyone in Easton, Pennsylvania USA who may have a photograph of the local war memorial in that town that may have the name of Harold Van Allen Bealer engraved upon it. I have some information about this man who was awarded the DCM and the MM and is buried in Brookwood cemetery UK. He lost his life whilst on leave in London, any information would be gratefully received.

Thank you in advance.

SJC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thanks to all for the replies, I do have his war service records, cost only $15 by email. These are now on the Canadian website for all to read. I am hopeful someone may be able to produce a picture of the war memorial.

SJC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a WW1 Memorial Oak Grove but there's no indication of whether there are any names on site. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM8MC1_Historic_Cannon_and_WWI_Memorial_Oak_Grove_Easton_PA

Also a West Easton memorial but he's not listed on that. http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/photo/pa_westeaston.jpg

Here is a list of Easton's WW1 casualties but Bealer isn't on it. http://warmemorial.us/mediawiki3/index.php?title=WWI_(Easton,_Pennsylvania) Link doesn't appear to work.

WWI (Easton, Pennsylvania)
From WarMemorial.us
Jump to: navigation, search
Conflict: WWI State: Pennsylvania Town: Easton Casualties: 37
Contents [hide]
CasualtiesPrimary sources
  • W.M. HAULSEE and F.G. HOWE and A.C. DOYLE, Soldiers of the Great War In Three Volumes (Soldiers Record Publishing Association, 1920)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have searched through the addresss that were given in my request for information with no luck so far, however, I have sent off a few emails asking for any information particular to the local American Legion, I will try a phone call later today.

My grateful thanks to everyone for their help and suggested websites.

SJC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

have you tried the local library? Possible newspaper reports about him & his service & death? Might have a picture. Or the local historical society for anyhting they may have.

The name doesn't seem a common one so there may be family still in the area. Check of tel lisitngs may help.

Sounds like an interesting story here so hope you will share it with the forum even if no photo is found. Good luck with your serch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A search for "Bealer, Easton, Pennsylvania" brought up a Harold J. Bealer, born 17.8.1923, died 5.7.2010. He was a resident of Easton, Pennsylvania. http://obits.lehighvalleylive.com/obituaries/etpa/obituary.aspx?pid=143959786

Likely to be some sort of relation to Harold Van Allen Bealer but no mention of surviving blood-relatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reply to "Loader" I can say I do have a photo of him whilst at college as part of their basket ball team but no further names at the moment. At one point I phone the college asking for any details but no one could help. I have the war records that has various sections including how he met his death. I do not wish to say how and when out of respect for any family that may be still living in that area,I have tried without any success to confirm if there are any family still alive in the area. I am hopeful that someone may be able to obtain a photo of any war memorial that has his name on it, No reply from the American legion in Easton US at the moment.

He was a brave and determined soldier like so many of those Americans who choose to enter the war via the Canadian, British, Australia and N.Zealand armed forces, a few were 16yrs of age.

Thanks to one and all

SJC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Easton Public Library has three records of him in their obituary index (1918). http://www.eastonpl.org/EAPLMRNewsppObitIndexes.html

There's also an index of newspaper articles, with several relating to the war memorial. http://www.eastonpl.org/NewspaperArticlesPDF/1900_1920.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What was the college he attended? A letter to the Alumni Assoc. may get you some info. Doubt they'd release any grades even after 100 yrs but might have something on him.

He may not be on a war memorial for a number of reasons, foreign army, etc.. Know of a case where the fellow left town & a pregnant girl, went to join another army, KIA but due to his reputation he was not on the memorial. Sad but feelings ran high over it.

Yes, it does take a lot of determination & commitment to join a foreign army to fight in a war far away that ones own nation is not engaged in.

A.G. Empey of the 1/1 Londons did it in late 1915, was WIA on July 1 1916 & discharged & sent home. Wrote a book of his experiences. Said when he told someone he'd come from the USA tro fight for England they told him no one asked him to do it! A rough time in any case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

In relation to this post I am doing an article about Lt. Bealer and the circumstances of his death.

This is a transcription of a news article from the Easton Free Press January 9, 1918:

HAROLD BEALER, WITH CANADIAN FORCES, IS DEAD

Eastonian, Wounded in Action, and Invalided to British Hospital, Passes Away

WON MEDAL FOR GALLANTRY

Son of Late Fred Bealer, of This City, Was One of Four Americans[ii]. All Now Dead, Who Met at Montreal and Enlisted For the War At the Same Time.

Lieutenant Harold V. Bealer, D.C.M., Company B, 42nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders, an Easton boy, son of Mrs. [bealer] and the late Fred Bealer, who [was] probably the [first] Eastonian to [participate] in [the] European war, is [dead] in a [hospital in] England, according to a telegram received by his brother D. Van Allen Bealer, of 241 Ferry [street], this morning. The [young] man was 24 years of age and is survived by his mother, [brother] D. Van Allen Bealer, and [a sister Miss] Lucy E. Bealer, both residing with [their] mother at the Ferry Street Address.

Lieutenant Bealer was a member of [Lehieton] Lodge. I.O.O.F., of this city and the first member of the lodge to meet death [in active] service during the war.

Lieutenant Bealer had established an enviable reputation in the war and had won [two] medals, the D.C. M. or [Distinguished Conduct Medal] and the [military medal] for conspicuous bravery. He [illegible] in the trenches, went [illegible] many [of] the great battles [illegible] [and] was wounded in the [shoulder] [illegible] the piece of shrapnel [imbedded themselves in his body]. These pieces were [not] removed and [it] is thought the they may have undermined his constitution. What caused is death is not known and the arrival of a letter giving the information is anxiously awaited [by the] grief stricken mother and family.

Young Bealer was anxious to get in the war from the time it started and after making inquiries at the British Consulate in Philadelphia he went to Montreal [where he] enlisted in the 42nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders on April 9, 1915. He was sent to the training camp at Folkstone [sic], England where his military training [was complete] and [illegible]… No Man’s Land and [illegible] captured a German [sentry] and [brought him back to the English lines. [For this] exploit he received the Military Medal and was sent to England as a reward.

He then made an [illegible] to secure a commission but being an American which had never attended a military school, was unable [to], but set about at once to [illegible] to secure the coveted position. He went to France for a few weeks and then returned [to] military school in England and, after completing his course there, was commissioned as a first lieutenant. He then was sent to a convalescent hospital in Cambridge, England, more for rest than anything else and then went to Trinity College where he took a course in tactical warfare. He was then sent to Shoreham, and since that time has been engaged in training soldiers for service at the front. He was apparently in fairly good health, but on the sixth of December, which was the date of the last letter received from him by his mother, he said he was ill with tonsillitis.

A letter written on December 16 by friends in England, whom Lieutenant Bealer often visited, stated that he was going to a hospital the next day but not for anything [serious]. Therefore, he was admitted on December 17. His death occurred on the 7th of January.

While in England he played in a baseball game between Canadians and Americans which was attended by the King [illegible] and many titled personages. However [illegible] enjoy the [illegible] and made [fun?] of the American pastime.

The telegram [illegible] received this morning reads as follows:

“Ottawa, Ont. Jan. 8.

D. Van Allen Bealer.
241 Ferry Street, Easton, Pa

[illegible] Deeply regret to inform you Lieutenant Harold Van Bealer, infantry, officially reported died January 7, 1918. Letter follow.

Director of Records”

Lieutenant Bealer attended the Allentown High School and after his father’s death, assisted in managing the latter’s business. Later he retired from this and tough up drafting. He was employed in this work [at Bethlehem Steel Company] and [then] Ingersoll-Rand Company. While in [service he] was frequently requested to do this work, but he preferred the more risky business of fighting in the trenches and insisted on “doing his bit” with his comrades.


Easton Free Press, January 9, 1918.

[ii] Not able to determine at this time identity of other men.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An excellent study of a sad situation indeed. You've gone the  extra mile in trying to find more on this man & you've had some luck. His emotional state must have been in such turmoil over his condition that he saw only one way out of it. A well brought up young man who contracted a veneral disease would have seen his future clouded in many ways because of this. And he had 2 cases of it with the treatments being painful in their own right. One wonders at the financial stress as well. Was there perhaps a pregnancy that he tried to support that took his funds? 100 yrs on you have found more info than hoped for so far. Please  share any new info you get. He was a brave soldier in combat where it counted most. May he RIP.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read the last reply by "Loader", after I obtained his records I noted the section about his medical condition, this caused me to abandoned the story for obvious reasons. He was a very brave soldier and I would like to believe he was recorded on the war memorial in his own town/city.

Thank you to everyone who took an interest and made replies

Grateful

SJC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In view of his mother's desire to have his body reutrned to his home I wonder if maybe there is a memorial stone in the local cemetery to honor him even though he rests in the UK? It'dtatke some research but if the cemetery is in a church yard the local church may have records of a stone in the family plot if there is one. I commend you keeping the medical info out of it. If anyone asks you how he died he died from blood poisoning which is accurate enough with the fact he was wounded in combat twice,  that covers it completely. I agree he deserves to be honored in his home town in some way. If he is not it compounds the sadness of a son & brother lost so far from home & in such trauma  in his life.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...