The story of Beer’s First World War ‘mystery man’ is uncovered at last
Every year the names of the men from Beer who died in the two World Wars are read aloud on Remembrance Sunday, together with brief details of their military service, and often their age. However, among those killed in the First World War the name Harold Ralph has always been followed by silence, as no details of him were known. Now, thanks to the discovery of new information relating to his marriage, his story has been discovered at last.
Harold Frederick Ralph was born and brought up in Kent, but moved to Beer in the last few years before the outbreak of war in 1914. When he got married in September 1914, the banns were read in Beer, describing him as a ‘bachelor of this parish’, thus revealing the reason why his name appears on the village war memorial.
On Remembrance Sunday this November, for the first time his name will be followed by his age, rank and unit. He served in the 8th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), and was killed in the Battle of Loos in September 1915. Research on his wartime service is continuing, and will appear on this website in due course.