Relatives of Christopher Lowry Beattie MC, 8th Durham Light Infantry

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Lynda Sebire, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Lynda Sebire

    Lynda Sebire Member

    I am Christopher`s neice ..Mummy adored her older brother twins and Christopher`s death devastated her. My brother was named after him. I would love to talk to the other cousins I never met and any one related to Christopher. Having read his war record I feel so proud to share the same heritage. My son went to Durham University and I never realised the connection...but it feels so right that he was awarded his degree in the Cathedral in which Christopher is remembered. Please contact me.
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Lynda Sebire

    Lynda Sebire Member

    My uncle served with The Durham Light Infantry. I am trying to find any relatives ..I never met Christopher as he died aged 24 but Mummy talked about him a lot and named my brother after him. Please if any one can help I would love to talk to you. Thank you.
     
  4. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Lynda, did you create a family tree on Ancestry? There is one private family tree there. Christopher & William were born Dec 1919 in district Chester-Le-?, as well as Una J. Beattie in September 1917.

    An Elizabeth W. Beattie was born in South Shields Dec 1927, all to a mother with maiden name Lowery.

    Edited to add George Beattie and Evelyn Lowery married Dec 1915 Chester-Le-Street
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  5. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    His CWGC certificate reveals:

    BEATTIE, CHRISTOPHER LOWERY

    Rank: Major
    Service No: 75176
    Date of Death: 09/09/1944
    Age: 24
    Regiment/Service: Durham Light Infantry, 8th Bn.
    Awards: M C
    Grave Reference: X. 18. 8.
    Cemetery: BRUSSELS TOWN CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of George and Evelyn Beattie, of West Timperley, Cheshire.

    There is a photograph in which he appears on page 32, '8th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1939-1945 (Maj PJ Lewis - N&M Press)'. He is shown as 2/Lieut CL Beattie. The photograph was taken at Charlbury, Oxfordshire in December 1939, which is the area where the 50th (Northumbrian) Division were consolidated prior to embarkation to France in January 1940 for service with the BEF.

    Pre-WWII and as the 8th Bn Durham Light Infantry was a TA Battalion, most of the officers would have been from County Durham or at least the NE of England. Yet Christopher Beattie appears to have hailed from Cheshire. An assumption here, but he would have been circa 19 years old at the time the photograph was taken and he was therefore likely commissioned into the Durhams, and this was likely his first and only Battalion/Regiment.
     
  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

  7. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Lynda,

    Have you got the book Into Battle with the Durhams ? If you have i'm sure you will know he was badly wounded crossing the Albert canal Steelen during the fighting in the Gheel Bridgehead on 8/9/44 and DOW the next day. It states that he was a pre war Territorial Officer and had been with 8 DLI for the entire war except for a period in 1940 when he was with the Brigade Anti Tank Company,

    regards

    Paul
     
  8. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    There is also a photo of him at the Durham County Records Office . Most of the Officers of 8 DLI had individual photos taken in May 1944 before they went to Normandy !
     
  9. lesley hedley

    lesley hedley New Member


    Elizabeth is my mother and this is not her day of birth.
     
  10. Jonesy123

    Jonesy123 Junior Member

    Lesly. I send you a pm
     
  11. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Member

    There's an excellent 1944 wartime sketch of Major C Beattie MC and several 8 DLI NCO gallantry award recipients on the Imperial War Museum site here:

    The 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1944: 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, 151 Brigade : Lance Corporal R G Goodwin, MM ; Corporal D Michael, MM ; Major C L Beattie, MC ; Corporal W Higginson, MM ; Sergeant-Major J R Hannah, MM

    There's also a related sketch by the same artist of some 6 DLI NCOs here

    The 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1944: 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, 151 Brigade : Private S Worthington, MM ; Lance- Corporal W Capon, MM ; the Regimental Sergeant-Major ; Sergeant C R Haseley, DCM, MM ; Sergeant C R Critchley, MM

    Both hugely evocative sketches I think. The soldiers obviously weren't keen on sitting for the artist--and it shows.
     
  12. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Member

    Forgot to add. Any ideas who the unnamed RSM might be?
     
  13. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Member

    Apologies! Should have read Steve Mac's post!
     
  14. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Member

    [​IMG]

    A bit more thread drift perhaps, but this is a more detailed caption for the June 1944 8 DLI IWM portrait sketch link.

    Soldier details from the usual sources: Casualty Lists, National Archives and CWGC. The information below is already listed elsewhere on the site in various forms I'm sure, but as a caption I think it does bring the sketch to life. Left to right on the picture, the soldiers are:

    Goodwin, Pte Reginald George, MM, 4036125, 8 DLI.
    Originally enlisted in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
    Reported wounded, NW Europe, as L/Sgt, 21/7/44.
    From Hereford.
    Military Medal for actions with 8 DLI in Sicily, on 15/7/43.
    LG 21/10/43:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36217/supplement/4663/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7348799
    NB listed as 'Gordan Terrance' Goodwin by National Archives.

    Michael, Pte David Dennis, MM and Bar, 4032841, 8 DLI.
    Originally enlisted in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
    Reported wounded, NW Europe, 18/6/44, rank listed as Cpl.
    Reported wounded, W Europe, 8/11/44, rank listed as L/Sgt.
    From Sheffield.
    Military Medal awarded for actions with with 8 DLI, at Marenth, 22/3/43.
    LG 17/6/43:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36057/supplement/2762/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7361413
    Bar to Military Medal awarded for actions with 8 DLI, on 11/6/44.
    LG 31/8/44, where home is now listed as Stoke on Trent:
    http://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36679/supplement/4047/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C9047476 x

    Beattie, Major Christopher Lowery, 75176, MC.
    Reported wounded, Tunisia, 22/3/43.
    Awarded MC, actions at Primosole Bridge, Sicily, 15-16/7/43.
    Recommendation for Award for Beattie, Christopher Lowrey Rank: Lieutenant ... | The National Archives
    Reported died of wounds, NW Europe, 9/9/44.
    Died of wounds, 9/9/44, serving with 8 DLI, aged 24.
    Son of George and Evelyn Beattie, of West Timperley, Cheshire.
    Brussels Town Cemetery, X 18 8.

    Higginson, Pte Walter, MM and Bar, 4041619, 8 DLI.
    Originally enlisted in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
    Reported wounded, Middle East, date not reported, circa 3/43.
    From Madeley, Shropshire.
    Military Medal awarded for actions with 8 DLI in the Middle East, at Marenth on 20/3/43.
    See Lewis & English, Battalion History, p 174 and p 180.
    LG 17/6/43:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36057/supplement/2762/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7361412
    Bar to the Military Medal awarded for actions with A Coy, 8 DLI on 9/6/44.
    LG 31/8/44:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36679/supplement/4047/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C9047475
    See Lewis and English p 253.

    Hannah, Colour Sgt (Acting WOII, CSM) John Ritchie, MM. 3191164.
    Originally enlisted in the King's Own Scottish Borderers.
    From Eastriggs, Dumfriesshire. Enlisted 1939.
    Military Medal for actions with 8 DLI in Sicily, 15-16/7/43.
    LG 21/10/43:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36217/supplement/4663/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7348788
    Medals previously on display at DLI Museum. Brief biography, citation and photograph via this link:
    DLI Collection
     
  15. lesley hedley

    lesley hedley New Member

     
  16. lesley hedley

    lesley hedley New Member

    Thank you for sharing the drawing of Chris. I have printed it off to show my Mum (his younger sister)
     
  17. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Member

    Pleased to be of help. I should have also mentioned that Major Beattie's Company Sgt Major in 9/44, George Self, was interviewed at great length by the Imperial War Museum in 1988. Self was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for leading the attack at Gheel after the company lost all its officers.

    Freely available to listen to online, the interview is very blunt about the reality of life and death in the frontline, but George Self couldn't have been more positive in his praise of Major Beattie. He mentions him several times, but this is the quote that stands out. It's about 8 minutes into Reel 16 of the interview.

    The interviewer asks: 'What about Beattie, the Company Commander?

    George Self: 'Oh, he was greatly experienced and he was a hell of a good Company Commander. Beattie was the kind of man that--if there was a decision to be made he could make it like that, and it would be the right one. As I've said before Major Beattie and Major English, they were the two men that anybody in the Battalion would have followed. Even if they knew they weren't going to come back, they would have followed them....'

    Here are the relevant details and links for Self and his IWM interview, followed by a partial interview summary, pasted from the IWM site.

    Self, Sgt George Henry, DCM, 4452660, 2 DLI and 8 DLI.
    Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal for actions with A Coy, 8 DLI in NW Europe at Gheel, 8-10/9/44.
    LG 1/2/45:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36961/supplement/1178/data.pdf
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C9076138
    Interviewed by IWM:
    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80010192
    Medals previously on display at DLI Museum. Photograph and brief biography here:
    DLI Collection

    IWM site partial interview summary:

    REEL 16 Continues: water supply; story of dispute with officer over question of polishing equipment prior to attack; story illustrating officer's inexperience; story of officer drinking poisoned wine from looted chateau; opinion of Major Beattie and Major Ian English; opinion of German troops; state of morale. Recollections of advance to Belgium, 8/1944-9/1944: scene at Falaise; lorry mechanisation of battalion; reception from French civilians; patrolling from billets near Brussels; cancellation of leave. Recollections of operations during crossing of Albert Canal and attack on Gheel, 8/9/1944-12/9/1944: situation; crossing canal in canvas boats whilst under machine gun fire; actions on taking command of A Company....
     

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