Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private William Beattie





William Beattie was born on 13 June 1898 at 9 Rosewood Street, Belfast, son of cloth passer Archibald Beattie and his Swiss-born wife Emma (nee Maurer).

By 1915 the family was living at 132 Mountcollyer Street, Alexandra Park, Belfast, the father working as a clerk for the York Street Flax Spinning Company. William was serving an apprenticeship in the Grove Weaving Company and, according to a newspaper report, "was an enthusiastic member of the 47th Belfast Company Boys' Brigade (St. Silas's), being one of the first recipients of the King's Medal".

Beattie enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim between 3 and 6 November 1915 (No.1794).

At the end of December 1916 he was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No.40637). They embarked for France on 9 January 1917 and were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front.

Beattie's battalion was on the Ypres front at the beginning of the Third Ypres offensive in August 1917. Between 7 and 11 August heavy enemy shelling, including gas, caused a large number of casualties to the battalion. It is likely that Beattie was wounded at this time. He was evacuated to a casualty clearing station, but died on 16 August.

Private Beattie was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, grave XVII A.A.9A. The gravestone inscription reads:

16TH AUGUST 1917 AGE 19




Gravestone image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org. Newspaper image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).