A Soldier's Return - Corporal Robert Beveridge

By Grandmaster Suck
Last updated : 19 October 2008

Even in death Corporal Beveridge was not remembered - his mother and father had died. His sister and brother had left the village of Uphall, West Lothian, by the time research began to put names on a local war memorial and so his sacrifice went unhonoured and unmarked. Even now we don't have a photograph of him.

Only when a collector bought his Military Medal and began to research his life did his story begin to be understood. The resultant documentary lasts 51 minutes and is simply superb. I recommend it to you. The DVD is now being shown in schools across Scotland and is spreading into the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth. You MUST get a copy.

There's one point when in a graveyard in Flanders the narrator stops by the graves of three pals who joined the Royal Scots on the same day and were all killed in action on the same day. They were buried side by side.

The film ends with Corporal Beveridge's name being inscribed on the memorial in St Nicholas Church, Uphall, where the local man could be truly said to have come home.

Local Councillor Graeme Morrice gave a moving tribute to Corporal Beveridge during the ceremony, saying,

'From the hell of the Somme, to Arras and then Passchendaele, our man never wavered. With only a year of active service behind him, Robert was promoted twice.

'In the blistering heat of the French summer of 1917 on the day and night of June 5th, Robert, against all the odds, held a forward position for many, many hours. Suffering from dehydration, heatstroke and severe shock - after fighting hand-to-hand in brutal and horrendous conditions - he was finally rescued. For his outstanding bravery that day, he was awarded a gallantry honour - the Military Medal.

'Twenty-four year old Robert, a corporal in the Royal Scots, accepted without question his role of section commander in charge of up to a dozen young men - men who looked to him as their leader, their guardian; men who trusted him with their lives, as he led them forward.

'Ninety years ago, to this very day, Corp Beveridge took his men forward in one of the most courageous actions his regiment had ever fought. With no regard for his own personal safety, he led by example. The objective was achieved, and the officer commanding that day won the Victoria Cross. But Robert paid the ultimate price, cut down by German machine gunners, he was killed and - in the artillery barrage that followed - his body was lost.

'Today, we can celebrate the strength, the courage and the devotion to others of Corp Robert Beveridge MM.

'Circumstances as they have been, have meant that it has taken 90 years for this day to happen. Ninety years later, we at last see Robert on our local war memorial. We are here now. Now we can rejoice for our lost soul who, after so long, has returned home.

'Robert Beveridge, may you for ever rest in peace.'

Purchase via email: ASOLDIERSRETURN@hotmail.com
£10 + £2 P&P

If you state where you heard about the DVD then £3 from each sale will go to the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal.

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

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