Five Beer brothers fought in Great War
Posted by - 3 years ago
Five sons of the Beer artist John White served in the First World War. Four (Peter, Melville, Lawrence and Leicester) joined the British Army, while Robert, who was in Australia when war broke out, joined the Australian Army. Robert is pictured here in uniform with his parents.
All five survived the war, although Robert lost an arm, and Lawrence was to die in WW2.
Peter joined the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry as a private, and served in Gallipoli. He was there at the same time as his younger brother Melville, who was in the same regiment.
Peter was later transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, and won the Military Medal.
Melville’s Yeomanry unit was merged with another to form the 16th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, which was involved in the British capture of Jerusalem before moving to France in May 1918. They had reached Belgium when peace was declared.
Lawrence’s service record from the Great War has not survived, but it is known he went on to join the Worcestershire Regiment in World War Two, and died in Nigeria in 1943.
Leicester was in the Hampshire Regiment, and, again, his service record is not available.
Robert was in Australia when war broke out, and signed up in Melbourne in 1915. He was sent at first to Egypt, and then on to France with the 28th Battalion of the Australian Infantry. Twice wounded, he lost an arm after being shot in July 1918 and was in Britain recovering in hospital when the war ended. Seven months later he returned to Australia.