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J03073

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number J03073
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative nitrate
Photographer Unknown

Description

Portrait of 2742 Private (Pte) Robert Beatham, a labourer from Geelong, Victoria who enlisted in the 8th Battalion on 8 January 1915 with the service number 2056. He embarked on HMAT Hororata from Melbourne on 17 April 1915 for Suez but returned to Australia in August 1915 due to illness. After recuperating, Pte Beatham (re-enlisted as 2742) sailed again for Alexandria and then on to France, arriving in Marseilles on 31 March 1916. He was wounded in action for the first time on 18 August 1916, during the early stages of the Battle of the Somme, suffering a gunshot wound to the back before rejoining his unit on 30 September 1917. He was wounded on the second occasion on 4 October 1917 during the Battle of Broodseinde and was evacuated to England for treatment and recuperation. He rejoined his unit in February 1918 and was killed in action on 11 August 1918, aged 24 years. Pte Beatham was awarded the VC posthumously For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice during the attack north of Rosieres, east of Amiens, on 9th Aug., 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'. A heavily painted over colour version of this portrait is held as P03211.001.