Sold with a large quantity of original documentation, including a War Office letter regarding the recipient's application for a Commission in the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (dated 4.12.1888); Commission Warrant for the Rank of 2nd Lieutenant, Militia Forces (dated 21.12.1888); a field message to General Hamilton from Beatty regarding his inspection of some trenches (dated 29.4.1916); a series of Great War period telegrams, subject matter including Jutland and Beatty's wounds, and a number of family letters, among them the Buckingham Palace letter regarding Beatty's latest condition (dated 8.4.1916), as described in the following footnote.
D.S.O. London Gazette 27.9.1901.
Major Charles Harold Longfield Beatty, D.S.O., was decorated for gallantry during the action which resulted in the death of Major A.L. Howard, Commanding Canadian Scouts, and his Orderly.
The circumstances of Howard's death are related by Moeller in Two Years at the Front:
'Suddenly the [Canadian] Scouts moved forward at the trot, and I followed on their heels. It is an extraordinarily difficult country, with its hills, valleys and deep gorges. Heard rifle-fire and Mausers going off, so pushed forward; found Canadians holding a rocky ridge immediately in front of a huge kopje, which was steep and covered with bush. In the valley were four Boer wagons; pushed on and joined them. I am sorry to say Major Howard and his orderly were found killed, and a native scout shot. Poor Major Howard no doubt met his death by going too far ahead alone. He spotted the wagons, went to them, and got shot. A little later I heard that he actually surrendered and the Boers shot him afterwards. He was hit in three places - arm, jaw, and stomach - all expanding cartridges. His orderly had a terrible wound through the back and stomach. Well, we burnt all the wagons, put the two dead men in sheets, and sent for an ambulance. I only saw the Major in the morning, and he gave me all the instructions about following his scouts. He was fifty-five yesterday; a splendid scout and soldier, his one and only fault being his daring, if it can be called a fault. Beattie [sic], the General's A.D.C. was the first to find them. He had his horse shot, and had a narrow escape as well, as they were potting at him at 200 to 300 yards.'
Lord Kitchener's Despatch of 8.7.1901 gives but bare details of Beatty's gallantry: 'At Evergreen, Eastern Transvaal, on 17th February, when Major Howard and [his] orderly were killed, went back to fetch assistance through very close and heavy fire; his horse was killed, hit three times' (London Gazette 20.8.1901 refers). The original Recommendation by Brigadier-General E.A.H. Alderson provides the context of his bravery:
'Referring to the recommendation I submitted to you on 18th May 1901, I should have added to those the name of Captain C.H.L Beatty 6th Bn. R. Warwick Regt., had I not understood, from a conversation I had with the Lieut. General Commanding, that his name had already been forwarded in connection with my report on the death of the late Major A.L. Howard, commanding the Canadian Scouts.
In accordance with the attached telegram I now submit Captain Beatty's name as having behaved very gallantly on the occasion of Major Howard's death.
It was at Evergreen on the 17th Feb., that Major Howard, his orderly, and a native scout, were suddenly fired at by Boers and had to take shelter behind some wagons. Captain Beatty had just taken an order from me to Major Howard and was then with him. The wagons were situated somewhat as shown in the rough sketch below, the Boers being in the high kopje almost within a stones throw.
After a few minutes Major Howard asked Captain Beatty if he would go and try and obtain assistance. Captain Beatty made an attempt, but the fire was too heavy and he had to return to the shelter of the wagons. He presently made another attempt and, though his horse was hit in 3 places and killed and he himself was subject to a very heavy fire as he went up the slope, he got safely away and reached the rest of Major Howard's men.
By the time, however, that the latter reached the vicinity of the wagons Major Howard and his orderly had both been killed and the native dangerously wounded by the Boers, under the circumstances already reported by me.'
The circumstances reported were that Major Howard and his Orderly had surrendered to the Boers, being disarmed, and then shot in cold blood. Beatty was invested by the King in England on 29.10.1901. He served for two years in South Africa in the Mounted Infantry and as General Alderson's A.D.C. As well as receiving the D.S.O. and the Mention in Despatches detailed above he had been mentioned previously by Lord Roberts in his Despatch dated 29.10.1900 (London Gazette 10.9.1901 refers).
Beatty was a Militia Officer who volunteered to serve in South Africa and in civilian life was an extremely successful amateur jockey and racehorse trainer. He won the Grand International Steeplechase at Sandown in 1895 and came second in the Grand National in 1897. As a trainer he had a string of winners, most especially with "Zinfandel", one of the best known horses of the day.
At the outbreak of the Great War General Alderson, by then a Lieutenant-General and Commanding the Canadian Corps, asked Beatty to resume the post of A.D.C. that he had held during the Boer War. This he did and served in France from 1915. On 3.4.1916 he was out with the Mounted Infantry of the Canadian Corps when he was severely wounded at St. Eloi. His wound caused the King's Private Secretary to write to General Alderson:
'My dear General,
The King was indeed distressed to hear that Beatty had been wounded, and had to lose his left arm. His Majesty noticed his name in the Casualty List two days ago, and instructed me to enquire about his wound. We were unable to get any information about him yesterday, and your letter has arrived most opportunely.
The King knows that he will be a great loss to you, and His Majesty was only yesterday recalling the incident when he cantered alongside the King's motor on a very handsome horse.
Should you see Beatty, will you please tell him from the King how truly His Majesty sympathises with him on his misfortune.
Would you also let me know to what hospital in England he may be sent, as I am sure His Majesty will take an early opportunity of visiting him.
Sadly Beatty never recovered fully and died of his wounds in May 1917.
The brother of Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty, his death profoundly affected the Admiral, as recorded by his son: 'In maturity they were closer to each other than to anyone else, and at Charlie's death David was in despair - perhaps the only occasion on record - "we lived together, played together, rode together, fought together"' (Our Admiral refers, a copy of which accompanies the lot).