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Remembered Today:

Captain ALFRED SYDNEY BEAVON, Gloucestershire Regiment- A Wrong 'Un


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  Tripped upon this man while researching 2 brothers with the same surname who were also officers in the Gloucestershire Regiment. Donald James Beavon ( a local casualty)  was killed in action as a 2Lt in 1917, his brother Alfred John Beavon was stretchered off from France less glamorously with piles in March 1917. I was trying to understand the Gloucestershire Regiment connection-  DJ had followed his brother but AJ had specifically applied for 3/4 Glos. from 3/28 London, Artists Rifles.   So I got out the service file for this man to see if there was a connection. (Nothing I can find)


     Alfred Sydney Beavon was commissioned up from Sergeant  into Glos R. in January 1915. He was transferred to 50th Northern Cyclists Battalion soon after and bumped up to Captain.(relinquished 1919).  He seems to have passed the war in and around Nottingham, latterly with 512 HSE Company, Labour Corps. In 1920 this was wound up and Beavon telephoned his area command to say he had wound things down and was coming over with the papers. Never arrived.  After which a discrepancy of £1532 was discovered (written off as irrecoverable). Beavon seems never to have been traced, although the army authorities thought he might have legged it to India-so army enquiries were made there. Further research revealed that he had a bigamous marriage in Nottingham, with a Miss Peacock and an illegitimate child into the bargain. A man of the same name had married at Holy Trinity, Brompton in 1905. The same name had also married at Bristol in 1914 (Beavon stated he was from Bristol). He appears only once in a census that I can find- 1911- as a music hall doorkeeper-a little way short of an officer and a gentleman.

    This man claimed to have served with IY in South Africa-which seems likely as there are medal records for an "A. Beavon".

     Many papers, including court papers, have been recorded as taken out of his file and destroyed. Intriguingly, the file date is up to 1933 but I could find nothing in it post 1922- when the DPP innocently asked the War Office if the witnesses were still available (a Sergeant in the APC) but all court martial/prosecution stopped because all witnesses had been discharged from army and could not be traced.

     Memories of "The Monocled Mutineer" from decades back suggested that there were a fair number of "wrong 'uns in the army during the war.  But has any colleague come across him-and, more importantly, was he ever caught??


[The next in my  occasional series on army misfits of the Great War will be a  vet. So better alert Mr. Broomfield who may have come across him and had better take some tablets to calm him down. Rather unusually, Matabele War, Boer War, Zulu Rebellion 1906-and AIF in 1914. Sent home and discharged for drunkenness as a Captain  with 3 Light Horse in Egypt-then volunteered again in 1917- as a Private- wounded 1918 on the Western Front (in the "groin"-put it politely- and captured when the ambulance he was in was shelled-Died of wounds and dysentery in German captivity. ]


Edited by Guest
sppell, speel, spelin- words
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LG 8/7/15 gives us this



There are two officer Service files per FindmyPast Index. From LG entry above they must refer to the same cad man.  Do you have both ?



First name     Alfred S

Last name      Beavon

Rank              Captain

Regiment         Northern Cyclist Battalion

Year               1915-17

Archive reference         WO 374/5175

Series description    Wo 374 - Officers' Services, First World War, Personal Files


First name(s)  Alfred Sydney

Last name      Beavon

Rank              Captain

Regiment        The Gloucestershire Regiment

Year              1914-33

Archive reference       WO 339/28918

SeriesWO 339

Series description    Wo 339 - Officers' Services, First World War, Regular Army And Emergency Reserve Officers




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2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

A man of the same name had married at Holy Trinity, Brompton in 1905.

This is marriage to Florence Julia Jefford, b 1880, Trent Dorset.  It is her on the 1911 Kensington Census you've seen.


But I think she died 1913, registered Q4 St Georges Hanover Square .  So a remarriage 1914 would be legal.


But if the 1914 registered Q1 marriage Bristol was to Beatrice Gobbett ( 1885 Radford,Nottingham -1955 Kingswoood,Glos) then she had a child (b 12/9/13) registered 1913 with her maiden name- Leonard Britton Gobbett. If Beavon was the father then adultery but not bigamy.


However I couldn't spot the Beavon /Peacock marriage.




Florence is on the 1901 Census for Bristol although they married 1905 London

Beatrice is on the 1911 Census for Bristol and they married 1914 Bristol

Beavon must have spent time there.





Edited by charlie962
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There is an Ancestry Tree - click for tree - with a marriage of Florence Julia Jefford  to Alfred Sydney Beavon


But it does not really progress the discussion


Although it does give the Marriage Cert



Edited by corisande
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Thanks chaps.  All helps. The 2 things that surprise me- 1) How easy it was in a pre-database age- to disappear  and 2) The closure date on the file, of 1933, suggests that he was found at that date. Thus, the thread-I am sure some references will turn up somewhere.

    Obviously, there were a fair number of wrong uns as "officers" during the war- add that to the problems of a large number of traumatised men coming back with weapons training -if not actual weapons-as well as the number of deserters, then I think there is a fair bit of stuff still out there on post-1918 law and order troubles with ex-servicemen.

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