Personal info

  • Name: Robert Matthew BEATHAM
  • D.O.B: 16th June, 1894
  • D.O.A: 9th August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 11th August, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 8th Battalion (Victoria), 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Amiens (second day), France 9 August 1918

9 August 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

On 9 August 1918, the second day of the Battle of Amiens, the Allies continued their successful advance eastwards. III Corps was deployed between the Ancre and the Somme; from here the Australian Corps manned the line south to the Amiens-Chaulnes railway, where they handed over to the Canadians, who were responsible for the sector running south to the Amiens-Noyon road, where they met up with the French. 37th Brigade, 12th Division, was at the north of the line, just south of the Ancre. In the fighting on the 9th they attacked Morlancourt and moved east towards the old Outer Amiens Defence Line. It was for his gallantry in the attack on Morlancourt that Sergeant T J Harris, 6th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), was awarded a posthumous VC. Meanwhile, south of the Somme, beyond the Amiens-St Quentin road, as part of the Australian Imperial Force, 8th Battalion (Victoria) was involved in the advance towards Lihons. North of Rosières-en- Santerre, Private R M Beatham, with the assistance of Lance Corporal Nottingham, attacked and captured four enemy machine-guns. He was killed when bombing a further machinegun. Further south still, the Canadian Corps also made significant gains. South of Vrély, Canadian troops of 2nd Brigade took part in the capture of Warvillers, where Sergeant R L Zengel, 5th Battalion The Saskatchewan Regiment, and Acting Corporal A P Brereton and Corporal F G Coppins, 8th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment, distinguished themselves in the capture of machine-gun positions, Zengel south-west of the village, and Brereton and Coppins at Hatchet Wood to the north.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice during the attack north of Rosières, east of Amiens, on 9th August, 1918. When the advance was held up by heavy machine-gun fire, Pte. Beatham dashed forward, and, assisted by one man, bombed and fought the crews of four enemy machine guns, killing ten of them and capturing ten others, thus facilitating the advance and saving many casualties. When the final objective was reached, although previously wounded, he again dashed forward and bombed a machine gun, being riddled with bullets and killed in doing so. The valour displayed by this gallant soldier inspired all ranks in a wonderful manner. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 December 1918. 14 December 1918, Numb. 31067, p. 14779

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