Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Captain Lionel Fletcher Hadwen Beach, 2nd/4th Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), died several months after being invalided home with severe injuries sustained in action. His health had been severely compromised by being grievously wounded in action twice, and further complicated by pneumonia and the influenza pandemic.
The only child of a physician and his wife, Captain Beach was educated at Haileybury School in Hertfordshire, and began his studies at Oxford. While at university he joined the Officers’ Training Corps and also rowed for his college. His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Great War, at which point he joined the army. His Bachelor’s degree was conferred in absence in October of 1916.
Captain Beach saw action at Gallipoli in 1915, during which time he contracted dysentery and was invalided home to recuperate. After six months he returned to his regiment to serve in Egypt as Acting Major. He was severely wounded in the First Battle of Gaza in March of 1917, and in August of that year he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, and was mentioned in despatches. In December he was severely wounded in the fighting which occurred after the capture of Jerusalem; his condition necessitated him being invalided home to England in March of 1918. He remained in hospital from that time until his death.
Lionel, from Dartford in Kent, was 26 years old and married with a son.