2/Lt. Frederick Beard

Frederick Beard was born in Manchester on April 6, 1890. His father, James Hogg Beard, was a Master Chemist and Druggist (a pharmacist). Frederick was the youngest of 3 boys and he also had a younger sister, Lucy. His father, James Hogg Beard, died in 1910 and by 1911 he was living in Marple with his mother, Jessie Ellen Beard (née Wraight), his brother Edward, his sister Lucy his aunt and a domestic servant. Educated at Manchester Grammar School, by 1911 he was employed as an export manager for a metal and hardware merchant.

He joined the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment as a Private (#3057) on October 5, 1914 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force) on March 11, 1915. He joined the 2/9th Battalion in training at Southport and moved with them to Pease Pottage in June 1915. On October 13, 1915 he embarked on His Majesty’s Transport Ship Scotian at Devonport for Gallipoli with 10 other Officers, arriving at Mudros on October 24th and joined the Battalion on Cape Helles on October 26, 1915.

He survived Gallipoli unscathed and sailed with the Battalion to Egypt, arriving on January 18, 1916. On October 4, 1916 he was awarded 45 days home leave in the UK returning to Egypt in November. He sailed with the Battalion to France, arriving on March 11, 1917.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on July 1, 1917 and on July 29th left for 16 days home leave in the UK where he married Isabel May Ferguson. Upon his return to France he was immediately attached to the 126th Infantry Brigade where, on September 4, 1917 he was gassed at Ypres.

He was medically evacuated to England sailing from Calais on September 13, 1917 aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen, arriving at Dover later the same day. He was medically assessed at Anstie Grange Military Hospital, Holmwood, on September 21, pronounced fit for General Service and given 3 weeks leave. He reported to the 8th Reserve battalion Manchester Regiment at Filey on October 11 but was immediately invalided, complaining of shortness of breath and palpitation after any exertion. He was medically assessed on November 28 at Scarborough and again on January 28, 1918; both indicating no improvement. On May 17, 1918, at Heaton Park, he was assessed for the last time and his condition pronounced severe and permanent. The examining Physician stating: “The injuries are severe and though improvement may take place in time, permanent ill effects have resulted from the gassing.”

He was forced to resign his commission on June 22, 1918 on account of ill-health contracted on active service, but retained the honorary rank of Lieutenant. Remarkably, his application for a wound gratuity was denied by the Ministry of Pensions, despite numerous protestations on his behalf, on the grounds of his condition not being  sufficiently serious.

After the war, he lived in Marple with his wife and became a company director. In 1920 they had a son, John Knowler Beard. He retired and moved to Buxton but his wife died in 1955 and sometime later he moved to Chipping Campden where he died on July 24, 1982. Lieutenant Frederick Beard was 92 years old.