Biography

Birth date: 16 June 1894
Birth place: United Kingdom: England, Cumbria, Glassonby
Death date: 11 August 1918
Death place: France
Final rank: Private
Service number: 2056 - First World War, 1914-1918
2742 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

Born in England, Robert Beatham (1894-1918) came to Australia as a teenager. He enlisted early in 1915 and accompanied his battalion to France a year later. He was wounded twice: at Pozières in 1916 and near Passchendaele the following year.

The day after the Australians' successful advance on 8 August 1918, Beatham's battalion was thrown into a further battle which proved very costly. When held up by machine-guns, Beatham attacked four posts, killing or capturing their crews. He had already been wounded and, while attacking another gun, he was killed.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of Death: 11 August 1918
  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 17 April 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

J03073

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...

J03073

J03073A

A NO. 2742 PRIVATE R.M. BEATHAM, V.C.

J03073A

P03211.001

Portrait of 2742 Private Robert Matthew Beatham, who enlisted in the 8th Battalion on 8 January 1915. Pte Beatham was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for the 'most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice during the attack north of Rosieres, east of Amiens, on 9th Aug., 1918'. During...

P03211.001

P02939.042

Studio portrait of 2742 Private (Pte) Robert Matthew Beatham VC, 8th Battalion. Pte Beatham was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice" on 9 August 1918 at Rosieres, France. During the hold up of an advance, Pte Beatham dashed forward and, assisted...

P02939.042

P00735.015

Grave marker of 2742 Private (Pte) Robert Beatham, VC, 8th Battalion, AIF, a labourer from Geelong, Vic, who was awarded the VC posthumously after disabling four German machine guns and capturing ten of their crews at Rosieres, France, on 9 August 1918.

P00735.015

Timeline

Date of birth 1894-06-16
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-01-08 8 Reinforcements to the 8th Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-04-17 Embarked for Egypt.
Other 1915-07 Returned to Australia for medical reasons.
Date of embarkation 1915-09 Re embarked for Egypt.
Other 1915-10 Arrived in Suez.
Other 1915-12-07 Taken on strength with the 8th Battalion and sailed with it to France.
Date wounded 1916-08 Wounded at Pozieres.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-09-09
Date wounded 1917-10 Wounded at Passchendaele.
Date of honour or award 1918-08-09 For action at Rosieres, east of Villers Bretonneux, France whilst serving with 8 Battalion, 2 Brigade, 1 Division as a Private.
Date of death 1918-08-11
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-08-19
Other 1919-03-08 Beatham's Victoria Cross was received by his mother from King Goerge V at Buckingham Palace.