Topic: William James Beddis

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War who died of wounds received during the Somme battles.

Private William James Beddis - 6/2932

William was born in Glenroy on 8th June 1891, second son of John William and Elizabeth Emma Beddis. He attended Glenroy School before leaving to work as a labourer for Mr W Hall at Hororata. He had previous military experience having spent 12 months with the territorial forces. He was 5ft 10inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He also had two moles on his left side.

He enlisted on 10th June 1915 and was assigned to the Canterbury Regiment. He embarked on 9th October with the 7th Reinforcements on the Aparima destined for Suez and arrived on 18th November 1915. He joined the second Battalion at their base at Moascar near Ismailia. From here he embarked for France on 7 April 1916. On 22 September 1916 he suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh and shoulder. This was the last day of the battle for Flers in which the New Zealand Division was involved. He was admitted to No 45 Casualty Clearing Station but died of his wounds on 30th September aged only 25. He was buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme. In New Zealand he is remembered on the Glenroy War Memorial and with a Memorial in Hororata Church.


CWGC Cemetery locale history: Dernancourt is a village 3 kilometres south of Albert. Field ambulances used the Communal Cemetery for Commonwealth burials from September 1915 to August 1916, and again during the German advance of March 1918. It contains 127 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The XV Corps Main Dressing Station was formed at Dernancourt in August 1916, when the adjoining EXTENSION was opened. The 45th and 56th (1st/1st South Midland) Casualty Clearing Stations came in September 1916 and remained until March 1917. The 3rd Australian was here in March and April 1917, and the 56th from April 1917 to February 1918. The 3rd Casualty Clearing Station came in March 1918 but on 26 March, Dernancourt was evacuated ahead of the German advance, and the extension remained in their hands until the village was recaptured on 9 August 1918 by the 12th Division and the 33rd American Division. In September it was again used by the 47th, 48th and 55th Casualty Clearing Stations under the name of "Edgehill", due to the rising ground on the north-west. At the Armistice, the Extension contained more than 1,700 burials; it was then enlarged when graves were brought in from isolated positions in the immediate neighbourhood and certain small cemeteries, including:- MOOR CEMETERY, EDGEHILL, DERNANCOURT, was about 800 metres West, near the top of the hill. It contained the graves of 42 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 23rd-25th March, 1918. ALBERT ROAD CEMETERY, BUIRE-SUR-ANCRE, was nearly 3 Kms West, on the straight road from Amiens to Albert. It contained the graves of 65 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 33 from Australia, who fell in April-August, 1918. It was made by Australian units and by the 58th (London) and 12th Divisions. The extension now contains 2,162 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 177 of the burials are unidentified, but there are special memorials to 29 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to two buried at Albert Road Cemetery, Buire-sur-Ancre whose grave could not be found on concentration. The extension was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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William James Beddis

First Names:William James
Last Name:Beddis
Date of Birth:8 June 1891
Place of Birth:Glenroy, Canterbury
Date of Death:30 September 1916
Place of Death:Somme, France
Memorial or Cemetery:Dernacourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme.
Age at death:25
User Name:Selwyn Library
Occupation before enlisting:Farm hand
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:45
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Regiment
Country:New Zealand
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of John William and Elizabeth Emma Beddis, of Glenroy, Glentunnel, Canterbury.
Service Number:6/2932
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:9 October 1915
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Aparima, Navua, Warrimoo
Theatres of War:France
Cause of Death:Died of wounds