DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
4th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 126658
RESIDENCE: Elimville - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: December 22, 1899
London - England
DATE OF DEATH: October 1, 1918 18 years 9 months
CEMETERY: Sancourt British Cemetery – Sancourt –
Nord – France
I D 27
PARENTS: Mr. James Beere – Shirley School – Croydon - England
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: London – September 15, 1915 into 71st Battalion
Enlistment Age: 15 years 9 months
John landed in Quebec on August 19, 1912 and the passenger manifeststated his birth date at December 22, 1899 and this would have made him 12 years and 8 months when he came to Canada. His destination was Elimville near Exeter and he was to be a farm hand.
Private Beere and his unit arrived in England at the end of November 1915. On June 6, 1918 he departed for the Canadian Corp Reinforcement Camp and from there it was on to his unit in the field on August 13, 1918.
Private Beere was killed during military operations with his Brigade. He was acting as a rifleman and was lying in the front of a sunken road when an enemy shell landed nearby killing Private Beere immediately.
October 1st was when there was an advance on Abercourt with zero being at 05:00 hours with the infantry advancing under the rolling barrage but also advanced under murderous enemy artillery and machine-gun fire.
“A & B” Companies managed to get through the enemy wire that was not previously cut and shortly after they passed the enemy emerged from well concealed positions and prepared to fire at the backs of the companies.
“C” Company attacked the enemy and they were eliminated. They continued to follow their barrage and were now coming to the crest of a ridge. At this point the barrage became ragged and was falling short and this caused confusion and casualties.
When they reached the Sunken Blecourt Road again a considerable number of the enemy appeared and were ready to fire at the backs of the advancing companies and “C” Company again attacked and totally eliminated that threat.
As the day progressed so did the intensity of the enemy machine-gun fire from the railway embankment and the high ground opposite the left flank. The right flank was moving well. The left flank was coming under enfilade fire because the 11th British were nowhere to be seen.
A barrage was ordered for 09:00 – 09:10 hours to allow the 11th British to advance and give “C” Company the chance to advance. The barrage was very feeble and the enemy machine-gun fire increased. The 11th British had not been able to advance and did not until after 4 pm. “D” Company was positioned in the Sunken Road and they formed a line of resistance. “A, B & C” Companies then withdrew behind the support of “D” Company. We feel that Private Beer was in “D” Company. Our research points to this being the case.
During the day 38 were killed, 118 wounded, 9 were missing and 7 men were gassed.