BEAUMONT, Edgar Tregoning
(Service number 26/1083)
|First Rank||Sergeant||Last Rank|
|Date||30 July 1892||Place of Birth||Temuka|
|Address at Enlistment|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||W.D. Beaumont (father), 15 Wahianui Road, Ashburton|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||4th Battalion, C Company|
|Date||5 February 1916|
|Transport||HMNZT 42 Ulmiroa, HMNZT Mokoia, or HMNZT 44 Navua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, N.Z.||Destination|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
The second child of William David and Emma Jane Beaumont.
Edgar's younger brother, Huia, wrote of his brother in 1991:
"Edgar Tregonning Beaumont was born in Temuka 30/7/1892. He was named after his father’s youngest brother and given his mother’s family name, Tregonning. Edgar was a well-built stocky boy, athletic and keen on games. He excelled in swimming, and was a valued team member in hockey and in harriers in Ashburton. His name is perpetuated on the gates of the Hampstead swimming baths, as well as on the memorial to the soldiers of World War 1 who left from Ashburton.
After a successful school career at Hampstead School under Mr Brock and Mr Collee, he took a position as junior in the shop of Mr Preddy at the corner of Victoria and Cass Streets, in the triangle. The shop later, and for many years was run by Buxton and Thomas.
However Edgar in 1912 became an apprentice to H. H. Higgins a printer in premises adjacent to the Post Office, and followed that trade as a machinist throughout his working life, though with a break of five years because of the war."
Edgar appeared also to enjoy speed - in April 1915 Edgar made an appearance in the Ashburton Guardian, being fined 20 shillings for riding a motor cycle too fast within the borough. A few months later the Ashburton Guardian reported Edgar's enlistment on 31 July 1915. Again they reported his farewell on 6 S eptember: "Lieutenant M. H. R. Jones and Corporal E. T. Beaumont leave tonight by the second express, en route to Trentham, where they will go into training for service at the front. The employees of Messrs W. H. Higgins and Co. gathered 'around the stone' on Saturday evening to say au revoir to Corporal E. T. Beaumont, prior to his departure for Trentham, where he is to join the Trentham Regiment (Earl of Liverpool's Own.) In presenting Corporal Beaumont with a handsome wristlet watch, on behalf of the staff, Mr Higgins. the proprietor, spoke of his sterling character and ability. From apprenticeship to his manhood he said that Mr Beaumont had been picking up thick 'leads' and 'spaces,' and now he was leaving this to handle a more formidable weapon in order to serve his King and country. Mr Higgins congratulated him on the step he had taken, and expressed the wish that he would be spared to return to his 'case' at the conclusion of this horrible war. After Mr Beaumont's fellow employees had added their tributes, three cheers were given for the departing soldier, who briefly responded."
Edgar's brother Huia continues Edgar's story: "After the war he returned to Higgins & Co for two years, but then left for Sydney where he worked for several years. Returning to New Zealand, he settled in Lower Hutt and commuted to Wellington daily managing a section of Tolan’s printer. He still remained active in swimming and running and delighted even to his later years in his daily morning run with his dog.
In 1918 he married in York [to] Renee Vivienne Beaumont (no blood relation) a vivacious, ambitious companion. Her fancy in dogs ran to Pekinese but Edgar’s to smooth-haired terriers. Their one child, Douglas Rauru Beaumont lives in Belmont Lower Hutt.
Edgar served with the 3rd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and was wounded during the 1916 Battle of the Somme. He spent two years in hospital in England (at Codford and Brockenhurst). On his discharge he was sent to Oxford to the Officers Training Corps. Just before the war ended he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant.
During their stay in Sydney Edgar and Renee befriended a Scot they found sleeping on a bench in a park. His only covers from the cold were newspapers and his pockets were empty. They almost ‘adopted’ Fred Peebles a cheerful ex-naval man from Broughty Ferry across the firth from Dundee. He became a loyal, helpful, considerate and cheerful friend and companion with them for many years – one of the family. He had run away from home, on impulse, one afternoon in late 1914, signed on as ship’s boy on the “Terra Nova” (Captain Scott’s ship then in Dundee and due to do whaling research in the Arctic) Suddenly he found himself a naval reservist and served as such on that vessel throughout the war. He had a fine singing voice and delighted us often with his renditions of such songs as “Mother Machree” and “My ain wee Hoose”.
Edgar died after some months of pain, aged 88"
Edgar's borther Edward Harold Beamont also served in World War One, being killed in action on the Western Front in 1917.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [8 March 2017]; Web submissions by F Wakefield, 8 March 2017
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum
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