Robert H. Beckh was born in Great Hamwell, Hertfordshire on 1 January 1894 and was educated at Haileybury School. He went up to Jesus College, Cambridge to read Classics in 1913 before enlisting as a private in the Royal Fusiliers (Public School Battalion) in 1914 “believing that the best training for an officer was through the ranks”. He spent most of 1915 training then was sent to France in March 1916 when his Battalion went to trenches near Betrancourt.

On the night of 15 August 1916 he was leading a four-man patrol towards the German lines; the patrol stumbled into a German position and Beckh was shot and killed. He was initially buried in a German military cemetery with two other British soldiers: the British authorities had planned to move the bodies to Cabaret Rouge Cemetery in Souchez, France but Robert’s body was somehow lost in transit. He is instead memorialized on a gravestone in the Cemetery.

Swallows in Storm and Sunlight, a collection of Beckh’s poems was published by Chapman and Hall in 1917.

Robert Beckh’s Poems