It was later confirmed that Willie had been killed in action in the Ypres Area of France and Flanders.
He was awarded the 1914/15 Star; Victory and British War Medals.
He has no known grave and is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial
Gomersal & The Great War
. . . . in the trenches
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres, Belgium.
Died 8th May 1915. Age : 19
1st King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Lived : Upper Lane, Little Gomersal
GOMERSAL SOLDIER’S LIVELY TIME IN THE TRENCHES
…. “We have had a lively two days in the trenches. The Germans thought that they could do liked, but they got a shock. And so did I when the shrapnel started to fly about at two o’clock in the morning, and the bullets started to whine.
I was up to my knees in sludge, and the only way to dodge the shells was to get down, face and everything. I can tell you I was surprised with myself when I looked into the glass.
I looked as if I had just been pulled out of a drain – just my eyes peeping out”
Willie Beaumont was just 18 years of age when he enlisted for the army at the Recruitment Office in Cleckheaton at the outbreak of War in 1914.
One of nine children of Blackburn and Eliza Beaumont, Willie lived in Church Lane, Gomersal and is listed as being a ‘newsboy’ at a stationers shop on the 1911 Census.
On the 5th March 1915, a letter Willie wrote to his friend about his experiences in the trenches, appeared in the local paper:
A GOMERSAL SOLDIER MISSING
Mr. E Charlesworth has, at the request of Mrs. Beaumont of Gomersal, made enquiries as to her son, Private Willie Beaumont. He wired the officer commanding his Company in France, and the following letter has been received under date June 6th, from the 1st KOYLI, 83 Brigade, 28 Division
“Dear Sir, - I am requested to state in answer to your telegram that Private Willie Beaumont, No. 12708, has been missing since May 8th 1915.
We are unable to state at present whether he is a prisoner in Germany, or whether he was killed. It will be notified in due course when news is received of him. Yours sincerely, G.M.Bond”
Mr. Charlesworth is also in communication with the War Office on the same subject, and is making inquiry in Germany.
Everything possible will be done to obtain news. Meanwhile Mrs. Beaumont and family, who are suffering terribly with the suspense, will have the sympathy of all her friends.
On 11th June 1915, the following article appeared in the local paper after Mrs Beaumont had made enquiries as to the safety and whereabouts of her son.
Upper Lane, Little Gomersal