Soldiers of the First World War database entry - P. Beaumont
Lieut. Percy Beaumont (1918)
THE LONDON GAZETTE, OCTOBER 14, 1910.
In the High Court of Justice.--In Bankruptcy.
In the Matter of a Bankruptcy Petition, filed the 30th day of September, 1910.
To P. BEAUMONT, of 8, Luxburgh House, Northumberland-street, St. Marylebone, in the county of Middlesex, lately an Officer in His Majesty's Army (South Lancashire Regiment).
TAKE notice, that a Bankruptcy Petition has been presented against you to this Court by Partabmull Soorting, carrying on business as P. Soorting and Co., of 116, New Bazaar, Poona, in the Empire of India, and the Court has ordered that the publication of this notice in the London Gazette and in the Daily Telegraph 1910. newspaper shall be deemed to be service of the petition upon you; and further take notice, that the said petition will be heard at this Court on the 25th day of October, 1910, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, on which day you are required to appear, and if you do not appear the Court may make a Receiving Order against you in your absence. The petition can be inspected by you on application at this Courb. Dated 8th day of October, 1910.
H.S. GIFFARD, Registrar.
RISING and RAVENSCROFT, 9, King Williamstreet, London, B.C., Solicitors for the Petitjoning Creditor.
THE LONDON GAZETTE, OCTOBER 28, 1910
The Bankruptcy Acts, 1883 and 1890; Receiving Orders
I was particularly delighted by the commissioning of men who had served with me in "C" Company or in Scouts and Bombers, such as Lieut. H. Brealey, M.M., Lieut. Barrett-Lennard, M.C., Lieut. J. W. Miller, M.M., Lieut. D. A. Porter, M.C., and a rather odd case, Lieut. Percy Beaumont. I first noticed Private Beaumont (South Africa ribbons) in my platoon in 1916 spreading a handkerchief to eat from his mess-tin, always rather cheerfully welcoming rum issue, inclined to mention names of abstainers releasing, as he seemed to imply, a more adequate supply. He had been a staff captain in the Boer War, a professional soldier but his drinking habits had brought about his dismissal. He was a competent brave soldier, spoke French and German, his wife was French of good family and the owner of property at Lens, and in 1917 when he saw the ruined coal-mines, he used to say that the Germans would have to pay for all the destruction caused. In 1918 he requalified at the Canadian Cadet School at Bexhill for a commission in the C.E.F., but he celebrated his regaining his status too well, failing to report for duty at Bramshott. While I was courts-martial officer at 17th Reserve, the Assistant Provost Marshal asked me if I knew him and told me he had gone to Liphook station to pick Beaumont up, but learned afterwards that the officer concerned had fallen asleep and arrived at Portsmouth. Within a few days Percy Beaumont was delivered to our orderly room at 17th Reserve by his long-suffering and splendid wife, and placed under arrest.
Now the ball was in Percy's court, and he played it with all the aplomb and assurance of an old regular. He chose his venue of trial—the Horse Guards in London. He listened to advice, and chose for his lawyer an able 85th captain called Baker, a barrister. Percy was quite aware that old British Army regulars counted "cashiering" and such-like penalties with social ostracism—a verdict to be abhorred when a man had re-won his spurs on the battlefield of France after mis-fortunes; they were more likely to be tolerant than a Canadian court-martial, anxious to comply with the letter of King's Regulations and Orders and Military Law, and seeing little distinction between dismissal and cashiering. Percy was right—he was reprimanded and his sentence duly promulgated at the Horse Guards. Back Beaumont came to parade before Col. Muirhead at 17th Reserve, Bramshott, asking for his Sam Browne belt and to be returned to duty. The C.O. said that, as far as he knew, Beaumont was still under arrest. Percy explained that he had been reprimanded and his sentence promulgated at the Horse Guards, and he was ready for duty.
The C.O. said he had no advice, but would enquire. Percy then said, "May I have the privileges of the Mess, sir?" The C.O. said "I suppose so." So Percy for nearly a week had no duty and time to drink and relate how pleased old so and so, etc., of his early days in the British Army (now of senior rank on his court-martial) were to see him and to learn of his service with the Canadians.
In the Cambrai battle Percy Beaumont gave splendid service. I recall him whistling his men and yelling "Taxi," when I'd pointed out the map locations, heads bobbing up and down and men moving quickly under his shrewd assessment of terrain and enemy shelling incidents. Later in the attack, he retrieved a bottle of rum from Lt. Mills just killed saying to me "Mills followed that tank too closely, risky to get too close but I had to get this water-bottle!" He offered me a drink but I noticed the mud and gore and it was unappetizing.
In 1918 I saw Percy Beaumont at Ripon ready to be demobbed. One day I found him outside of his hut having a haemorrhage into a pail held by his batman and saw him off in an ambulance to the hospital. After a week I heard bad news about him and hastened to see him to say "Good-bye" before repatriation to Canada. I found him cheerful, he remarked that doctors gave him only 3 months to live and that he had had his bed moved so that he could see the legs of the WAACS going by. In 1923, when studying at the Sorbonne, I had occasion in Paris to go to Cook's for currency exchange and ran into Percy Beaumont, bowler-hatted and debonair, with a whiff of whiskey on his breath, ready for a party had I been willing—still in trouble with authorities, blasting British Embassy officials who had been enquiring about his movements and activities in the Saar where French Army was in occupation. "Look" Percy said "I'm a millionaire" and showed me German money then depreciating like an avalanche. I had seen Percy Beaumont, when wounded at Cambrai, being borne on a stretcher by German prisoners, smoking a cigarette, and certainly in command in German. I wondered what he had really been up to that made the Embassy people inquisitive. It was my last sight of this old regular (but most irregular) British Army officer, yet I can use such words as duty, cool courage, about a part of his life in the Royal Canadian Regiment in battle and on the march.
Date of Birth - 29 Dec 1880; Lille, France