Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-B1912.
Lance Corporal Charles Beeson was the son of George and Joanna Beeson, he was born and educated at Waiorongomai in the Bay of Plenty on completion of his schooling he became a teacher and prior to enlisting in May 1916 he was teaching in Matamata where by all accounts he was well respected. His father passed away in 1909 and his mother lived at 81 Clonbern Road, Remuera at the time of Charles's enlistment. He was one of four of nine sons who served in World War One.
Charles embarked with the 8th reinforcements as part of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 23 September 1916 aboard the Pakeha. Charles came close to surviving the war but was sadly killed in action on 8 September 1918 at Havrincourt, France most likely from machine gun fire or a sniper. He was buried at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, France.
The photo of Charles above depicts a confident and happy man and this is surely how his family would have remembered him. A photo taken of him in September 1918 would most likely have told a very different story one of a battle weary, aged man waiting for the war to end.
Charles's three brothers who served survived the war, Alfred Victor Beeson was invalided home to New Zealand before the end of the war. Gordon Ivan Beeson who was signed up in 1918 never left New Zealand and Ernest Stanley Beeson who was in the USA enlisted with the Aviation Corp of the USA. He returned to New Zealand after the war.