Beale, Maurice Evelyn (Jimmy)
No. 56229, 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
Accidentally drowned on Saturday 19 October 1940 (aged 28)
Killyleagh Church of Ireland Churchyard, Co. Down (Section A. Grave 470)
Maurice Evelyn (Jimmy) Beale was born on 24 June 1912 and baptised on 28 July 1912 in St Mary’s Church, Ealing. His birth was registered in the third quarter of 1912 in Brentford, Middlesex and he was a son of Maurice Octavius Beale and Evelyn Gladys Georgina Beale (nee Saunders) of Stamford Brook Avenue, Hammersmith, London. Maurice Octavius Beale was born in 1877 in Lutterworth, Leicestershire and in 1881 he and his older brother, Ernest Septimus Beale, were living in the Infant Orphan Asylum, Wanstead, Essex. Maurice Octavius Beale became a chartered accountant and on 3 April 1907 he and Evelyn Gladys Georgina Saunders, who was a schoolteacher, were married in Christ Church, Turnham Green, Middlesex. They had at least three children: Marjorie, Stanley and Maurice Evelyn (Jimmy). Maurice Octavius Beale of 47 Beechwood Avenue, Kew Gardens in Surrey died on 24 March 1933. His effects amounted to some £6,504 and probate was granted to his widow Evelyn Beale.
Maurice Evelyn (Jimmy) Beale was educated at Bloxham School, Banbury in Oxfordshire where he played rugby for the school. He became a teacher and was an Assistant Master at Oriel House School, St. Asaph, Denbighshire in Wales. During the Second World War Jimmy served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Until his death in 1940 he was Adjutant of the 4th Battalion while this Battalion was stationed in Northern Ireland (from December 1939 until November 1941 headquartered at Banbridge and then Keady). At the time of his death he was stationed in Killyleagh. On 19 October 1940, along with Second Lieutenant William Edward David Paul of Chester, he borrowed a 14-foot centreboard sailing boat from Benjamin Bennett of Killyleagh to go sailing in Strangford Lough. A heavy sea was running as they left Killyleagh harbour and some hours later the boat, badly holed, was washed ashore at Holm Bay. There was no trace of either of the two bodies. Exactly five months later, on 19 March 1941, Captain Beale’s body was found floating in the water and brought ashore at Portaferry. From the remnants of the jacket he was wearing his remains were identified by Major Wilfred James Hutton. At the inquest, the Coroner returned a verdict of ‘found drowned’ and Captain Beale was buried at 10.00 am on Sunday 23 March 1941 in Killyleagh Parish Church of Ireland Churchyard, Co. Down. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
Captain Beale’s effects amounted to some £4,533 and probate was granted to his widowed mother, Evelyn Beale. Evelyn died in 1960.
Second Lieutenant Paul’s body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on Brookwood Memorial, Surrey, England. Another Second World War casualty who was buried in Killyleagh Church of Ireland Churchyard was Fusilier Harry Atkinson (No. 4199802) who served with the 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers and who died on 9 May 1941 aged 23. He was a son of Arthur and Sarah Atkinson of Grimsby in Lincolnshire and the husband of Winifred Thelma Atkinson, also of Grimsby.