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Kings Royal Rifle Corps


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Good evening

Are you able to tell me if and where the 17th battalion KRRC has a memorial(s) or scrolls with the names of the fallen from the battalion? If on line how can I access it?


I am interested in James Frederick Nelson Beeching KIA Aug 4 1917


thank you in anticipation


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  • 2 months later...
On 23/11/2020 at 22:42, bifbas said:

Many thanks Edward1

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but James Frederick Nelson Beeching was my great grandad, why the interest in him, are you family?


Any information you have on him would be much appreciated.



Dan Brown

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1 hour ago, brownd9 said:

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but James Frederick Nelson Beeching was my great grandad, why the interest in him, are you family?


Hi Dan and welcome to the forum.


Bifbas hasn't been on for a couple of weeks, but if you reply to this then you should have enough posts to be able to access the forum private messaging facility. (If you using a PC \ Laptop \ Tablet then just cursor over his user name and one of the options that should pop up in the bottom left hand corner is to message. )


I take it that you already know that he was Rifleman R/34130 James Frederick Beeching , (some sources include the Nelson), and like the vast majority of other ranks his service records were destroyed when the warehouse where they were being stored was hit by bombs in the blitz. What has survived is quite often fire and\or water damaged.


His webpage on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website records that he died on the 4th August 1917 while serving with the 17th Battalion and that he has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. The additional family information given is that he was the "Son of James and Flora Beeching, of 12, Sumption Buildings, Webber St., Blackfriars Rd., London; husband of Mary Ann Beeching, of 64, Mordaun St., Stockwell, London." He was 29 years old.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/927264/JAMES FREDERICK NELSON BEECHING/


Soldiers Died in the Great War, an HMSO publication from the early 1920's, records that he was killed in action and had formerly been S/22937 in the Rifle Brigade, and TR/13/13906 in the 19th Training Reserve Battalion. He was born Lambeth, Surrey, resident Stockwell, Surrey and enlisted Lambeth.


His Medal Index Card, (literally that, an Index Card created by the clerks at the records office in early 1919 to keep track of the issue of Medals), shows that he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. This combination of medals indicates he did not serve in a Theatre of War until some point on or after the 1st January 1916. The MiC only records units he served with in a Theatre of War, (although mistakes do happen!). It's likely he did his training in the UK with a home service only Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and the Training Reserve Battalion. Given the reorganisation of the Training system that went on in early 1916, one could just be a rebadging of the other.


The 17th Battalion didn't land in France until March 1916, so potentially he may have gone out with them. If the clerk completing the Service Medal Roll for his British War Medal and the Victory Medal, (available on Ancestry) followed standard procedure, all the units he served with overseas with should be listed, but compliance varied. If you're lucky it may also give dates and Theatres of War as well.


The National Archive is currently offering free downloads for War Diaries and other documents that have been digitised. You just need to set up an account, if you haven't already got one. Even that can be set up as part of placing your first order - no financial details required.

This should be the diary you need: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354218


Ancestry has another document, the Army Register of Soldiers Effects. That's a financial ledger rather than an inventory. It will confirm who the balance of his pay and subsequently his War Gratuity were paid to. It may also confirm if a pension was awarded to dependants. It can be possible from the amount of the War Gratuity to work out roughly when a soldier might have enlisted.


There is no obvious Soldiers Will or Civil Probate for him. Also doesn't look like the International Committee of the Red Cross received a missing person enquiry.


It looks like Ancestry has some basic transcripts of Ministry of Pensions record cards - probably a widows' pension details. Scanned images will be available on Ancestrys' US sister site Fold3, but that requires a separate subscription.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site shows 7 men of the 17th Battalion recorded as having died on the 4th August 1917. Five, including James, are remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial. Another, Rifleman R/35668 Timothy Siggins, is recorded as died of wounds and is buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No.3 in Belgium.

The seventh , Rifleman R/31375 W.F.Major was recovered from the battlefield in October 1919 along with a number of Unknown British and Canadian Soldiers. He was found at Map Reference S.28.C.17.a.3.7. (See the concentration report attached to his CWGC webpage. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/452726/


Hopefully some of that is new information to you,




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