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Wolverhampton Hero: Young Hussar Mentioned in Despatches

Wolverhampton Hero: Young Hussar Mentioned in Despatches

John Leonard Beavon was born in 1889 and lived at 35 Merridale Street West. Beavon enlisted in the 20th Hussars in 1907 (number 1806). At the outbreak of the war, John Beavon was a Sergeant and serving with his regiment at Colchester. The 20th Hussars embarked for service with 5th (Independent) Cavalry Brigade on 17 August 1914. During the early states of the fighting, Sergeant Beavon was Mentioned in Despatches, news of which was reported as follows in the Express & Star on 20 Oct 1914:

It was very pleasant reading to many Wolverhampton residents on Monday to find the name of Sergeant John Leonard Beavon, of the 20th Hussars, in the list in the despatches issued by Sir John French for conspicious bravery in the battlefield in France.

Sergeant Beavon is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Beavon, of 35 Merridale Street West, and he has been in the Army seven years. The young hussar was barely 18 when he enlisted, and it speaks well for the grit and ability of Beavon that after four years’ service he rose to the rank of sergeant. It is a further compliment to his intelligence and pluck that he should have earned so brilliant a distinction as to be mentioned in despatches when only 25 years of age.

The above photograph was taken when the popular young sergeant was 19 years of age. An excellent photo of Beavon at 24 years of age adorns one of the walls of the dining room at his home.

The proud father and mother informed an Express and Star representative this (Tuesday) morning that they had eight sons, two of whom (including Leonard) are at the front, and one is an ex-soldier who has seen foreign service. Their one hope, naturally, is that their two boys in the fighting line will survive the shot and shell to enjoy the distinction they have earned.

The other son in France, they explained, is a member of the R.A.M.C. and is 32 years of age. He served for four years, and then joined the Reserve, being called up in August.

John Beavon was later commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers, being posted to the 26th Battalion. Unfortunately he was killed leading his platoon on 1 July 1916 during the fighting near La Boisselle. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. John Beavon is also named on the roll of honour inside St Chad and St Mark Church at Penn Fields, as well as on the St. Paul’s Church War Memorial.