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Thread: Lance Corporal Robert Gordon Mcbeath, V.C.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Default Lance Corporal Robert Gordon Mcbeath, V.C.

    Hello all,

    What with the 100th anniversary of World War 1, I just wanted to post this short entry regarding Lance Corporal Robert Gordon Mcbeath (1/5th Seaforth Highlanders) who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 14th January 1918 for his actions during battle on 20th November 1917.

    I'm afraid that I missed the 100th anniversary of the award, but hope to make it up here.

    The War Diary for the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders records his award as follows...

    The King has been pleased to approve of the award of
    The VICTORIA CROSS

    To No. 240171, Lance Corporal Robert McBeath, for most conspicuous bravery on 20th November, 1917, when with his company in attack and approaching the final objective, a nest of enemy machine guns in the western outskirts of a village opened fire both on his own unit and on the unit on the right. The advance was checked and heavy casualties resulted.

    When a Lewis gun was called for to deal with these machine guns, L/Cpl. McBeath volunteered for the duty, and immediately moved off alone with a Lewis gun and his revolver. He located one of the machine guns in action, and worked his way towards it, shooting the gunner with his revolver.

    Finding several other hostile machine guns in action, he, with the assistance of a tank, attacked them and drove the gunners to ground in a deep dugout. L/Cpl. McBeath, regardless of all danger, rushed in after them, shot an enemy who opposed him on the steps, and drove the remainder of the garrison out of the dugout capturing three officers and 30 men. There were in all five machine guns mounted round the dugout, and by putting them out of action he cleared the way for the advance of both units.

    The conduct of L/Cpl. McBeath throughout three days of severe fighting was beyond praise. The Divisional Commander congratulates the recipient.

    Date of Award, 11th January, 1918.
    Authority, The Times, dated 12/1/18.


    I had never tried to research Robert before now, and he isn't related to me, but tonight I was curious and tried to find out a little more. Apparently Robert emigrated to Canada, with his wife, after the end of World War 1 where he found employment as a police officer. He was killed in the line of duty on 9th October 1922, aged 23 years. He and his partner were shot by a man they were taking into custody. Unfortunately Robert died of his wounds, but his partner survived.

    An immensely brave man in war time as evidenced by the above citation, but he continued to live his very short life in the same fashion - protecting others, and trying to make the world a better place to live in.

    Rest in peace Robert.
    Last edited by sgmcgregor; 03-Feb-18 at 05:28.

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