Beels, Thomas

BORN HULL 1893. HULL PAL. SON OF JOHN MADDISON & SARAH JANE, OF THIS CWGC ADDRESS. HE WORKED FOR HULL & BARNSLEY RAILWAY DOCK DEPT. DIED OF WOUNDS. BURIED AT STE. CATHERINE BRITISH CEMETERY, PAS DE CALAIS, FRANCE. HIS GRAVE READS, “HE DIED THAT ALL HE LOVED MIGHT LIVE”
Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE THOMAS BEELS 11/1137. Born in 1893, Thomas was the second of three children and eldest son of John and Sarah Beel of 6 Newtown Terrace, Hedon Road, Hull. He worked as a Labourer in the Dock Department of Hull and Barnsley Railway before the war, but enlisted at City Hall on 12th December 1914 joining the fight for King and Country as part of the 11th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. During training he was disciplined for using obscene language and fined two days pay. A veteran of Egypt and the Somme, Thomas was wounded on 3rd May 1917 during the attack on Oppy Wood and was withdrawn to the Field Ambulance for treatment. He never recovered. Thomas at least had the dignity of the proper burial denied so many of his comrades who fell that day; he is buried at St. Catherine British Cemetery, a young man of 23. The attack was hardly the best kept of secrets, in fact the Germans seemed to know more about it than the British did! Private Beeken described the hours before dawn:
“We moved off at 9.25pm and arrived at our assembly places in front of Oppy Wood at midnight. The enemy guns were very busy……At 12.30am on May 3rd an intense German barrage fell on the almost non-existent assembly trench. Bob Smith and I set about making our shell hole deeper when the shelling stopped. Then at 1.30am an intense ‘strafe’ was put upon us. It lasted for about 20 minutes……Barrages were put on us at 2.30am and at 3.30am. We were having a hectic time. While this was going on our bombardment opened out and the Germans immediately intensified theirs.”
Small wonder so many bodies were never recovered. This were simply obliterated.


First name:
THOMAS
Military Number:
1137
Rank:
Private
Date Died
03/05/1917
Place died:
STE. CATHERINE BRITISH CEMETERY, PAS DE CALAIS, FRANCE
Age:
23
6 NEWTOWN TERRACE, HEDON ROAD, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE, UK