James Beckham

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Jan 19, 1891

Born at Cobham, Kent, England to William and Sarah Beckham


Aug 23, 1915

Attested into the 77th Battalion at Smiths Falls Ontario 

Ø      Number 144952

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Sarah Beckham, mother, of Cobham, Kent, England

Ø      Previous occupation given as Cheese Maker

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England


Oct 23, 1915

Embarked the SS California at Quebec City, Quebec as part of the 1st Regimental Draft of the 77th Battalion


Oct 31, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England and proceeded to Shorncliffe where the draft was absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion


Mar 15, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Mar 16, 1916

Arrived at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion 

There is no mention in the service file as to the actual date that Pte Beckham joined the Battalion in the field


Sep 15, 1916

The 21st Battalion mounted an attack on a German strong point in a Sugar Factory at Courcelette during which they suffered very heavy casualties.  Pte Beckham was first reported missing, then later was presumed to have been killed. 

His body was never recovered from the battlefield and is honoured on the Memorial at Vimy Ridge

Following the war the British War Medal (Below), Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, William Beckham, at Batts Cottage, Cobham, Gravesend, England 

The Memorial Cross (below) was sent to his mother at the same address


Private Beckham is honoured on the Memorial Wall in Kingston Ontario


Private Beckham is also honoured on the Memorial in Luddesdown, Kent, England

He is also honoured inside the St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Luddesdown

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