Morley St. Peter – St. Peter’s Church (William Henry Beaumont)

The graveyard at St. Peter’s Church in Morley St. Peter.

Richard noticed this, which was of interest as it named William Henry Beaumont was killed in action in 1916. However, there was no record on the CWGC web-site of a war grave at the church and no-one from a local regiment of that name. Fanny (nee Burrows) had been born on 1 August 1891 and she died on 9 April 1985, just under 70 years after her husband.

William was the son of Kate Beaumont of 21 Huntsworth Terrace in Marylebone in London, located near to Baker Street. William was in the 8th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and his service number was 18864. He died on Friday 7 July 1916 at the age of 25 and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, although his military records seem to have been amongst those which have been lost. He died in the Mash Valley area during the bloody battle to capture Ovillers.

The neighbouring grave gave something of a clue, what appears to be the son of Fanny and William, namely William Henry James Beaumont, who was born in Marylebone on 16 January 1917 after his father’s death. By the time of the 1939 register, mother and son were still living at 30 Caithness Road in Mitcham, which was where William and Fanny had been living before he went to war. Of relevance primarily only to me, I’m fairly sure that I haven’t walked down that road at any point in the past, although I’ve been very near to it.

The younger William lived until 30 November 2003. Which doesn’t really solve why any of the three have gravestones in this church, but I assume that the younger William moved up to Norfolk at some stage after the end of the Second World War (or the decades after it). Fanny’s death records are from near to Morley, so I assume she moved with her son and settled in this area.

It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like having a husband die nearly 70 years before in such tragic circumstances, although it’s a shame that I can’t find William’s military records.