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 Surname   Forename   No   Rank   Notes   Unit 
BeisowshiJno ChasSource: WO100/280Alicedale TG
BeitAlfredHe was born in Hamburg in 1858, and after receiving a sound commercial education went with a few thousand pounds to Kimberley, where the great firm of Wernher, Beit, and Company was originally founded. But the discovery of the Rand Goldfields greatly increased the sphere of the firm's operations. Already exercising the greatest influence over the destinies of the De Beers Mines, of which he was a life governor Mr Beit soon began to acquire the control of a large proportion of the pick of the Rand outcrop claims, supplementing these holdings with a more or less continuous line of deep level claims along the main reef series, which were soon merged in the huge mining corporation known as the Rand Mines, Limited, of which Mr Beit was a Johannesburg director, with a scat on the London Committee. To mention the other mining undertakings which come entirely or partly under the aegis of Mr Beit's firm would be to name some sixty or more of the most prosperous and best managed of the and properties. At the time of his death Mr Beit was Vice-President of the British South Africa Company, since 1904; life governor of the De Beers Consolidated Mines, Limited; a director of the Beira Railway Company, Limited; Central Mining and Investment Corporation, Limited; Mashonaland Railway Company, Limited; Rand Mines Limited; Rhodesia Railways, Limited (see J R Maguire); Rhodesia Railways Trust, Limited and was on the London Board of the Consolidated Company Bultfontein Mine, Limited, and the HF Company, Limited. But Mr Beit's interests were not limited to gold and diamonds, for few men have done more to extend the British Empire in South Africa than this great naturalised Englishman, who had been from the beginning one of Mr Rhodes' staunchest supporters in opening up the Northern Territory and preserving the road thereto for Great Britain. From the inception of the Chartered Company his brains and influence had always been at the service of the company; he had been for nearly the whole period a director of the company, although the unfortunate Raid made it desirable for Mr Beit to remain away from the councils of the board until he was re-elected by the shareholders a couple of years later. However, the death of Mr Rhodes made it more essential that such a man as Mr Beit should take a still more active part in the great colonising company, and he became its vice-president in 1904. His earnest desire to carry out the partially completed projects of his late friend and colleague had led him previously (in 1902) to make an extended tour through Rhodesia, the result being immediately reflected in the removal of most of the drawbacks under which the colonisers had been suffering. The old mining law was amended, the SO per cent, lien clause being reduced to 30 per cent., and such important reforms as throwing open the country to diamond prospecting, reducing the post and telegraph rates, instituting departments for Native Affairs and Agriculture, and, above all, the decision to hurry on railway construction, were decided upon. Mr Beit became Vice-President of the Chartered Company in 1904, thus very greatly diminishing the loss which fell to Rhodesia on the death of Mr Rhodes, and the transference of Earl Grey to Canada. A man with such responsibilities and interests needs to be something more than a financial genius, and perhaps one of his most fortunate attributes was his perspicuity in judging character and associating himself with the right people. Thus it is safe to say that no other firm contains such a combination of men of brains and financial probity as the firm of Wernher, Beit, and Company and the allied firm of H Eckstein and Company, who act as their Transvaal representatives, and between them they are perhaps second only to the house of Rothschild in the magnitude of their operations and the amplitude of their financial resources. Mr Beit's firm is, of course, not free from those attacks which are periodically directed against the great financial houses. In the case of the libel uttered by Mr A B Markham, MP , which was so unreservedly withdrawn, it is characteristic of the firm that they abstained from asking for the costs in the case. Mr Beit himself was reserved and was for many years somewhat delicate, as most men are who develop their intellectual strength at the expense of their physical force. Nevertheless, he had an extraordinary capacity for hard work, and while he commonly calculated in millions he had that grasp of detail which ensured his schemes being successfully carried through. Although German by birth, he was a naturalised Englishman, and apart from the huge tract of country which he helped to bring under the British flag, he had large ideas on such questions of national importance as technical education, to advance which he and his firm have contributed in princely fashion. Mr Beit's gifts for public or charitable purposes have been numerous and large. During the Boer War he was a munificent supporter of the ILH, and it was owing to his generous financial aid that the regiment was, after the relief of Ladysmith, re-horsed in time for it to take part in the relief of Mafeking. Braamfontein Forest, Parktown, near Johannesburg, consisting of about 200 acres of free hold ground, valued at £200,000, was recently presented to the Johannesburg Town Council by Messrs. Wernher, Beit, & Company and Mr Max Michaclis (a former partner in the firm) for the purposes of a public park, which is now known as the Hermann Eckstein Park. In Sep, 1904, Mr Beit presented the magnificent Frankenwald model estate of 3000 acres, situated close to the dynamite factory, laid out for Messrs. Eckstein at a cost of over £100,000 by Mr Gcnth (Prince Bismarck's Chief Forester, who planted the Sachsenwald forests adjoining Johannesburg), to the Transvaal Government for educational purposes. Following hard on this came the announcement of his offer to Oxford University to found a Professorship of Colonial History. The terms of the offer were that Mr Beit would contribute the sum of £1,310 per annum for seven years for the maintenance of a resident professor and assistant lecturers; a prize of £50 for an annual essay on the Advantages of Imperial Citizenship, and the payment of examiners' fees; the purchase of books on the subject, the amount annually expended not to exceed £50. At the expiration of the seven years, if the Hebdomadal Council so desired, Mr Beit was to make the endowment permanent, and he had already given £350 to the Bodleian Library for the purchase of books and documents required in the study of Imperial History. Mr Beit was a great lover of pictures, and possessed an art collection which was amongst the most valuable in England. A year before his death he presented a Gainsborough worth £8000 to the National Gallery in Berlin, in addition to having given at least one large donation to help save a valuable picture from being sold out of England, whilst amongst his treasures bequeathed in his will were Rcvnolds's Lady Cockburn and her Children to the National Gallery; Reynolds's Mrs Boone and her Daughter, afterwards Lady Drummond to the Imperial Museum, Berlin; Polajuolo's bronze statuette of Hercules to the same museum; and Majolica plate from the service of Isabella Gonzaga d'Estc to the Art and Industrial Museum, Hamburg. In his lifetime Mr Beit had ceaselessly been depicted by the extremist Press as the typical 'Randlord'—a callous bloodsucker, battening on the prosperity of South Africa from no other motive than a vicious propensity to evil. His will, however, showed the greatness of the man's ideas. It breathed a practical spirit of humanity, which stood as its maker's best defence. As Cecil Rhodes left his money to unite the Anglo-Saxon world in bonds of educational brotherhood, Alfred Beit bequeathed a sum of £l ,200,000 for developing Africa's means of communication. "I believe", said the testator, "that by the promotion, construction, and furtherance generally of railways, telegraphs (including wireless telegraphy), and telephones, and kindred or other methods of transmission of persons, goods, and messages, civilisation will be best advanced and expedited in AUnknown
BeitWalter Scott1162PrivateSource: OZ-Boer databaseNew South Wales, NSW Imperial Bushmen
BeitelF ASource: WO100/279Cape Government Railways
BeithA1st Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
(Queen's Own) Cameron Highlanders
BeithJ1st Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
(Queen's Own) Cameron Highlanders
BeithJSpecial Contingent
Source: QSA and KSA rolls
Cape Police
BeithJ SSource: QSA and KSA medal rollsSouth African Constabulary
BeithJohn30712Trooper2nd Battalion
Source: QSA Medal Rolls
Scottish Horse
BeithJohn30712TrooperServed 15 Feb 01 to 06 May 02. Discharged, Completion of Service, C.T.
Source: Nominal roll in WO127
Scottish Horse
BeithR1st Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
(Queen's Own) Cameron Highlanders
BeithR DCaptain (RMLI)QSA (2) CC SA02.
Source: QSA medal rolls
HMS Monarch
BeittsJPrivatePrisoner. Near Haenertsberg, 16 April 1902
Released
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
Steinaecker's Horse
BejindenhoutW J293TrooperSource: QSA medal roll in WO100/286Uitenhage DMT
BekennA RPrivateQSA (0)
Source: WO100/284
Newcastle Town Guard
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