Harold's war grave found in St Florence

First published in News

The grave of a war casualty has been traced to St Florence.

Harold Berkeley Beynon, of Penally, who lost his life following the First World War, recently had his death accepted for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

Now evidence has come to light that Harold's final resting place is in the Beynon family plot at St Florence churchyard.

Harold survived death, in August 1915, on the beaches of Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli peninsula, only to contract malaria when the remnants of his battalion were transferred to Salonika. He was repatriated for treatment, but his service papers, uncovered by Steve John of the Pembroke County War Memorial Project, show that he was eventually discharged from the Army in 1919 due to malaria. Soon after, on May 6th, 1919, Harold died of meningitis and encephalitis.

Enquiries made by Rev Shirley Rayner of the congregation at St Florence failed either to find records relating to the burial of Harold at the church or make contact with any living relations.

Said Mr John: “We eventually managed to locate burial records at the Pembrokeshire Records Office in Haverfordwest showing that Harold was buried in St Florence churchyard on May 10th, 1919. It means that we can now formally ask the CWGC to complete their commemoration records to show where he is buried.”

“I am grateful to Rev Rayner and to members of her church their help in ensuring that Harold receives the tribute he should have received 90 years ago.

"As we approach the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014, it would be great if on reading this a family member or someone who knows the family could contact me via sd-john@sky.com and provide additional information on Harold or even a photograph of him.”

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