b. 01/04/1873 Bingham, Notts. d. 10/01/1946 Vancouver, Canada.
Harry Churchill Beet (1873-1946) was born on 1st April 1873 at Brackendale Farm, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, the son of a sculptor called J. A. Beet. Harry joined the Sherwood Foresters on 18th February 1892, and sailed for India in January 1894, where he served throughout the fighting on the Punjab Frontier, 1897 and 1898 (Medal with two clasps).
He was then posted onto the South African War from 1899-1902, where he served under the immediate command of Captain P. Leveson-Gower. He was promoted to Sergeant for his service in the field by Lord Kitchener. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action at Wakkerstroom in April 1900. (London Gazette, 12th February 1901).
At Wakkerstroom, on the 22nd April, 1900, No. 2 Mounted Infantry Company, 1st Battalion Derbyshire Regiment, with two squadrons, Imperial Yeomanry, had to retire from near a farm, under a ridge held by Boers. Corporal Burnett, Imperial Yeomanry, was left on the ground wounded, and Corporal Beet, on seeing him, remained behind and placed him under cover, bound up his wounds, and by firing prevented the Boers from coming down to the farm till dark, when Doctor Wilson, Imperial Yeomanry, came to the wounded man’s assistance. The retirement was carried out under a very heavy fire, and Corporal Beet was exposed to fire during the whole afternoon.
Following the gazetting of the award, he was presented with his medal by the Duke of York (later King George V) in Pietermaritzburg on 14th August 1901. He was later wounded in action in December 1901. He was then promoted to Captain, and soon after the end of the Boer War, he emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada.
On the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted with the 32nd Reserve Canadian Infantry Battalion, and served in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Following his service in World War I, he returned to civilian life, and in 1936 he moved to British Columbia, where he settled in Vancouver. He died on 10th January 1946, aged 72 in Rupert, near Vancouver. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in the Veterans Section with a flat headstone. His medals are held and displayed by the Sherwood Foresters Museum, Nottingham Castle.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: SHERWOOD FORESTERS MUSEUM, NOTTINGHAM.
BURIAL PLACE: MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY, VANCOUVER, CANADA.
Bill Mullen – Beet VC’s Grave
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map
Mark Jones – Medal Group at Nottingham Castle