Percy Beauchamp

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Englefield Green, Surrey, England, United Kingdom

General information


Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Wimbledon, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
 —  The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 7th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Goumier / Gournier Farm, Belgium
Cause of death:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Minty Farm Cemetery
Plot: 1
Row: D
Grave: 19

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private Percy Beauchamp (21181, 7th Bn. East Kent Regiment ( The Buffs ), 55th Brigade, 18th Division ) died of his wounds on the 13th of October 1917.

From the 23rd of September 1917 the 7th Battalion East Kent Regiment, also known as the Buffs, were positioned at School Camp near Sint-Jan-ter-Biezen, west of Poperinge. There they practiced a new method which could be of use in a forthcoming battle.

On the 9th of October 1917, they moved to Dirty Bucket Camp ( 28.NW.A.30.a ), located in the Galgebossen, on the communal borders of Poperinge and Elverdinge. The next day, the 10th of October, the entire 55th Brigade was ordered to relieve the 32nd Brigade ( 11th Division ), located southwest of Langemark. While the Brigade Commander and the Commanding officers headed to the 32nd Brigade’s Headquarters at Varna Farm (28.NW.C.4.a.5.1.), the other ranks went from the Galgebossen to Kempton Park ( 28.NW.C.15.b.4.5.) by bus. Later on, the complete 55th Brigade crossed the Steenbeek and so completed the relieve.

During the 11th of October, while the rain was pouring down all day long, the battalions of the 55th Brigade were given instructions for battle the next day. The 8th East Surrey Regiment would be positioned on the right ( from the Lekkerboterbeek to Gloster Farm ), The 7th Buffs in the middle ( from Gloster Farm to Poelkapelle Church ) and the 7th Royal West Kent Regiment on the left ( from Poelkapelle Church to Dixmude Road (20.SE.V.19.b.1.8.)). While they would advance in a snake formation, their goal was to secure Poelkapelle and take over Meunier House.

The 7th Buffs were divided in four companies. The “D” and “C” company, respectively positioned on the left and the right between the battalion lines, would start the attack, while the “B” and “A” company were in support and were ordered to leapfrog over the “D” and “C” company and head to the next objective.

The attack was launched at 5.25 a.m. on the 12th of October. This day marks the start of the First Battle of Passchendaele. Soon after the attack began, it became clear that it did not go as desired. Due to the swampy situation of the ground and the opening barrage which wasn’t erratic and heavy enough, the infantry encountered lots of difficulties. Both “D” and “C” company were caught in heavy German gunfires ; “D” from Helles House and Requette Farm , “C” from Gloster Farm and Point 37. Eventhough the “D” company got the closest to the First Objective, for a second time it came under a heavy German gunfire, but now from Meunier House and the Brewery. That day the brigade suffered many losses and none of the objectives were taken.

On the 12th and 13th of October both Germans and British troops were able to attend the wounded while waving of holding a Red Cross or white flag, often just a simple white handkerchief. Both sides didn’t fire at a wounded man or at someone that give aid, which was quite exceptional.

On the 13th of October, the remnants of the 55th Brigade left the front and went back southwest of Langemark, to Goumier Farm ( sometimes written as Gournier Farm ) (28.NW.C.9.d.2.7.).

It’s known that Private Beauchamp died of his wounds on the 13th of October 1917. It’s quite plausible that he got wounded on the 12th, as the battle was harsher compared to the 13th. An exact location is hard to point out, as we don’t know to which company Private Beauchamp was assigned to. But as the opening barrage wasn’t thorough enough and because of heavy gunfire of the Germans, we presume that Private Beauchamp got wounded very close to the jumping off line. Private Percy Beauchamp now rests at Minty Farm Cemetery, just a few meters away from Goumier Farm. Therefore we can assume that Private Beauchamp died of his wounds near Goumier Farm.

Sources 4

7 Battalion Buffs (East Kent Regiment), (The National Archives, KEW (TNA), WO 95/2049/1).
Further reference
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 116-117.
Sources used
Moody R.S.H., Historical records of the Buffs East Kent Regiment, (London, The Medici Society, 1922), pg. 272-277.
Sources used
Nichols G.H.F., The 18th Division in the Great War, (Edinburgh, William Blackwood & Sons, 1922), pg. 235-238.
Sources used

More information 3