2/451 Gunner Charles Frederick Beaumont - New Zealand Field Artillery

Charles Frederick Beaumont was born in Featherston, on 30th November 1885, the eldest son of Frederick and
Mary Bain Lamont Beaumont. Charles had three younger brothers and two younger sisters.

The family moved around with Frederick possibly being a railway worker as Harold George Beaumont, a younger brother, was born in 1893 in Palmerston North. The family was living in Porirua by 1898 with the first of the younger Beaumont children registered to attend school there. Charles was 13 at this stage and may have already left school.

Charles Frederick Beaumont was a seaman and a unionist and was employed by the Anchor Shipping Company. Charles was involved in the 1913 General Strike and was being looked for by police for his actions in an attack on the ‘Special Constables camp at Waterloo Quay’ and was arrested on the 11th of November 1913 as reported in the Dominion:[i]

‘a surprise capture was made yesterday afternoon in Bunny Street. For some days Detective Sergeant Cassells
has been looking for one Charles Frederick Beaumont. He told a certain person to keep a look-out for the man.
This citizen lit his eyes on Beaumont yesterday while the later was among some special constables in Bunny Street.
He told the specials of the fact that man was “wanted” and two of the horsemen arrested Beaumont and took
him to the Lambton Police Station.’

Specials and Striker clash in Wellington 1913

Charles was convicted in the Wellington for taking part in a “riot” and was sentenced to nine months hard labour a
sentence that was reported and decried as astoundingly severe by the Maoriland Worker in February 1914.[ii]

Charles served six months, as on the outbreak of war he and five other strike prisoners were released[iii] on the
15th of August 1915.

On the 19th of August Charles enlisted in the New Zealand Field Artillery possibly because he had spent time in the
Royal Naval Reserve. It was also noted on his enlistment papers that while he had a prison record, Colonel Johnson knew
of it so it may have meant he was released so he could join up.

Charles is listed as living, as he had just come out of prison, in the Grand Private Hotel in Ghuznee Street with his father
as his next of kin residing at the Abermarle Hotel, Wellington.[iv]

2/451 Gunner Beaumont left New Zealand in October 1914 and by April 1915 was fighting a different battle on Gallipoli. Gunner Beaumont was evacuated, with dysentery, in June 1915 first to Cairo and then New Zealand where in on
9th September 1915 he was considered permanently unfit and discharged as ‘unfit for active service (dysentery, dilated heart and varicose veins)’[v] Charles intended address was simply GPO Wellington.

On 28th October 1918 Charles married Margaret Elizabeth Hopkins and the couple were  living in Wanganui where
Charles contracted the Spanish flu and died on 27th November 1918.
A note to Charles Frederick Beaumont’s military files simply notes ‘death not considered due to disabilities contracted on, or aggravated by war service.’[vi]

Harold George Beaumont served with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) and was killed during the first days of the landing at Gallipoli.

NZ BDM Online
Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Records: 2/451 Gunner Charles Frederick Beaumont

Specials and Stirkes on Featherston Street 1913 - Alexander Turnbull Library 

[i] Surprise Capture-revolver and twenty five rounds (11th November 1913) Dominion
[ii] Public Indignation (11 Febraury 1914) Maoriland Worker
[iii] Six to be Released (15 August 1914) Dominion
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand-Military Records: 2/451 Gunner Charles Frederick Beaumont
[v] Archway Archives New Zealand-Military Records: 2/451 Gunner Charles Frederick Beaumont
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand-Military Records: 2/451 Gunner Charles Frederick Beaumont 
Specials and Strikes on the strets of Wellington 1913