Sunday, October 19, 2014

223381 Driver G Beal RFA

In January 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Beal, Pte G, RFA is serving in England.  This is probably George Beal who was born around 1884 in Balcombe, Sussex. 

The 1901 census of England & Wales reveals George living with his family at Shalford Cottage, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex.  The household comprised: Henry Beal (head, aged 49 and working as a carter on a farm), his wife Annie (aged 47) and their seven children.  The children are recorded as: Harry (aged 19, an agricultural labourer), George (aged 16, a carter boy on a farm), Caroline (aged 14), Charles (aged 12), Alfred (aged 10), Emily (aged eight) and Edith (aged four). 

In February 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that G Beal’s rank is ‘Driver’ and that he is still in England.  The National Archives lists his number as 223381.  George Beal does not appear to have volunteered for active service and neither does he appear in the lists of attested men published by the parish magazine.  It therefore would appear that he was conscripted into the army around January 1916. 

George Beal appears to have served throughout the war, his details appearing continuously in Chailey’s Parish Magazine up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

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