|Beech||John Robert||Captain||BEECH, JOHN ROBERT, Captain, was born 2 July 1860, 2nd son of James Dixon Beech, of Ballintemple, Co Cork, and Susan, daughter of John Malone, of Co Wexford. He was educated at Newton School, Waterford. When the Egyptian War broke out he was about 18 years old, and studying at the Edinburgh Veterinary College. He was expecting to become a land agent, and was making a study of animals and their diseases. He passed out top of all the students, gaining the Medal. Being eager to get to the front, he joined the Army as a Veterinary Surgeon, the only means of entrance available to him. He did much valuable work, buying horses and camels for the Government, and served through the Egyptian War and the Gordon Relief Expedition, and the Sudan, receiving the only seven-clasp Medal of that campaign, the clasps being: Toski, 1889; Gemaizah, 1888; Abu Klea, The Nile, 1884-85; El Teb, Tamaai, Suakin, 1884; Tel-el-Kebir. After the Gordon Relief Expedition he went with Sir Gerald Portal on a mission from Queen Victoria to King John of Abyssinia, and carried the Queen's letter alone to King John through a most difficult and hostile country, and was given the CMG. His DSO he got after the Battle of Toski, instead of the VC, for which he was recommended by two Generals. His Companionship of the Distinguished Service Order was gazetted 30 May 1891: "John Robert Beech, Captain (CMG), 20th Hussars (attached to Egyptian Army)". The Insignia, Warrant, etc, were sent to the Governor of Egypt, and presented by him 7 December 1891. For his services after the Gordon Relief Expedition, King Edward (then Prince of Wales) recommended him for a combatant commission, and he was gazetted as Lieutenant to the 21st Lancers, and almost immediately got seven years' promotion in one day, and was appointed to the 20th Hussars as Captain (1901). He served in the Egyptian Cavalry for many years, and on two occasions, when only 25 years of age, commanded them in most successful engagements against the Dervishes. At 28 he married, left the Egyptian Cavalry, and rejoined the 20th Hussars. The then Inspector-General of Cavalry, Sir Keith Fraser, singled him out for special mention when on manoeuvres, saying before the whole Cavalry Division that it was a picture to see Captain Beech at his work. Shortly after this (1894), he sent in his papers and entered the Reserve of Officers, but rejoined for the Boer War, serving on General French's Staff, and got the Queen's Medal with five clasps. In the Great War he was in command of a Regiment of Scottish Horse. In addition to the Egyptian and South African Medals, he had the Osmanieh, Medjidie and the Khedive's Star and clasp. On 1 December 1894, he married Alexandria Marion, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, of Storriaway, and widow of John Bullough, of Meggerie Castle, Glen Lynn, Perthshire. Their sons were: Clyde, born 13 April 1896 (Captain Rifle Brigade, killed 18 October 1916, aged 20); George, born 3 February 1900; Alexander Frederic Charles, born 13 April 1902, died 25 October 1905; Graham, born 25 December 1905, and Gerald, born 25 July 1908. Lieutenant Colonel J R Beech, CMG, DSO, died at Louth, Lincolnshire, from a chill caught in camp, whilst commanding the 2/1st Scottish Horse.|
CMG (b/b gold), DSO (gold), Egypt (7) Tel-El-Kebir Suakin El-Teb-Tamaii The Nile 1884-85 Abu Klea Gemaizeh 1888 Toski 1889 (1st Class Vet Surgeon) officially renamed, QSA (5) CC OFS Joh DH Belf (Capt CMG DSO RofO), 1911 Coronation, Turkey Order of Medhidie 4th Class, Turkey Order of Osmanieh 4th Class, Khedive Star (1) Tokar. Glendining Sep 91 £3,100.
Source: DSO recipients (VC and DSO Book)