2Lt Ernest Beal VC

We were delighted to see Second Lieutenant Ernest Beal VC featured on the Antiques Roadshow

At midnight on the 21st March 1918 Second Lieutenant Ernest Beal was leading his men towards an enemy strong point at St Leger, south of Arras. Suddenly the trench they were occupying was infiltrated by German soldiers with several machine guns.

Beal reacted quickly. He gathered a small group of men, Mills bombs and a Lewis gun to deal with the problem. Firing his revolver, Beal killed a machine gun team and captured their gun. Three more machine gun teams were dealt with in a similar manner.

Next day, during a German counter attack one of Beal’s men was left wounded in open ground. Beal rescued the soldier but was badly injured and died of his wounds on the 22nd March 1918.

Beal was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. The Victoria Cross was presented to his mother and father. You can see it on display in the museum.

Plan a visit.