|1921-11-30||b. 31 Marlborough Road, Gillingham, Kent||birth certificate; Sidney Beck's diary|
|1939-09-29||not found in the 1939 Register||1939 England and Wales Register (TNA: PRO RG 101)|
|even when the bombs were dropping and everyone else was taking cover, Edgar used to carry on playing the piano, upstairs||information from Daphne Beck, via Lucy Beck|
|1941-06-07||best man at his brother Sidney's wedding||information from Sidney Beck|
|1941-10-19/-10-21||of 225 Marlborough Rd, Gillingham; stayed with the Becks at 44 Culver Lane, Reading||Beck visitors' book|
|1941 Xmas||was in the Lofoten raids, and was on the Direction Bridge during the action||Sidney Beck's Mass-Observation diary|
|1942-03-28/-29||of P.O's Mess, H.M.S. Arethusa; stayed with the Becks at 44 Culver Lane, Reading||Beck visitors' book|
|1942-07-10||at Alexandria, assumed to have been at the battle of the Convoys||Sidney Beck's Mass-Observation diary|
. . . my younger brother, Edgar, when he was in the Navy in home waters, at one stage I think his boat called at Newcastle, I think my parents must have given them Aunt Elsie’s address, and he had called on them, and made one or two visits to them. I don’t know whether it was on one of those visits or not, but at one stage he did a cycle tour from their house, I think—went off cycling to the Lake District, and back.
|The Memoirs of Sidney Beck|
|Edgar Beck's last letter, in my possession|
|1944||ordnance officer 4th class, Royal Navy||death certificate; CWGC|
|1944-03-30||of 225 Marlborough-road, Gillingham; d. at sea, on war service, aboard HMS Laforey, in the Mediterranean||death certificate; CWGC; National Probate Calendar|
. . . we got a telegram from my parents saying
that Edgar was reported missing. I got leave immediately from my unit,
to go home and see my parents. Of course at that stage we were still
hopeful that he would be picked up and the news would come through that
he was all right. We didn’t know, at that time, that the boat had been
torpedoed and sunk—everybody on board was lost. We didn’t hear until
the end of the war exactly the circumstance of how he had been very
unlucky. He was coming back to England from the Far East to take up a
commission; and en route he had to change boats at Suez, and, while he
was waiting for a passage home to England (he was in the transit camp
there), the order came through that everybody in the transit camp was
required to fill up vacancies on the fleet’s ships which were in Port
Suez, they were required for the invasion of Italy, Salerno Beach. He
was one of those drafted to go on a destroyer, although he had been
training as an artillery officer, gunner, apprentice, on the cruisers.
He was detailed for this destroyer, the Laforey, and it was
torpedoed during the invasion of Salerno Beaches.
I had had a letter from Edgar, from Suez, not long before he was killed; with hindsight it looked as if he knew it might be his last.
|The Memoirs of Sidney Beck|
|an account of the sinking of the Laforey, written by a survivor, appears on the BBC's WW2 People's War website|
|1944-10-17||administration granted at Llandudno to Reuben Alexander Beck, chargeman of shipwrights; effects £192 13s. 2d.||National Probate Calendar|
|listed on Chatham Naval Memorial, as an ordnance artificer||Naval Memorial|
I visited Gillingham to see the unveiling of the extension to the Chatham War Memorial by Duke of Edinburgh. Took a photo of the panel with Edgar’s name on it.
|Sidney Beck's diary|
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