WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2009-01 > 1233087787
From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [W-OBITS] BEATY: Aubrey Valentine Vernon Beaty 2008
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 20:23:07 -0000
Artillery officer believed to have been the first British soldier to cross
the German frontier in 1944.
Last Updated: 6:00PM GMT 08 Jan 2009
from The Telegraph.co.uk
Aubrey Beaty, who has died aged 92, won an MC in Holland in 1944 and was
believed to be the first soldier serving with the British ground forces to
cross the German frontier.
On the evening of September 19 Beaty, then a captain in command of a troop
of "Q" Battery 21 Anti-Tank Regiment RA (21 ATR), was supporting the 1st
(Motor) Grenadier Guards during the attack on the post office and bridge at
Nijmegen on the Dutch-German border.
Near Wyler Meer, just to the south-east, he took the surrender of 35 Germans
and handed them over to the Americans. The next day he engaged German
snipers and at 2pm he crossed the German frontier.
On learning that enemy tanks and infantry were advancing on the town of
Beek, he joined the Americans there. He went forward and, from a hull-down
position, fired 40 rounds of high explosive and armour-piercing shells into
farm buildings where the enemy were believed to be.
The town was being heavily shelled, and amidst the dust the German infantry
could be seen running from tree to tree to take advantage of all the
available cover. After darkness, the enemy continued to advance using
illuminating flares. There was considerable fire, and when the American
infantry pulled back to a crossroads Beaty ordered his troop to pull back
too. He personally covered the withdrawal.
He was then wounded and one of his self-propelled guns was hit, in error, by
a Piat fired by an Allied unit. He evacuated the crew, some of whom were
wounded, under shellfire and later that night rejoined his battery. He was
awarded an MC.
Aubrey Valentine Vernon Beaty, the son of an officer in the Indian Police,
was born in Delhi on February 1 1916. He and his siblings recalled
adventures on horseback and being pursued by a posse of servants when their
exploits became too hazardous.
He was educated at Bedford School before starting work at Selfridges. In
1939 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery and saw action in France with the
BEF before being evacuated from Dunkirk. Beaty was commissioned into the 21
ATR and served with them throughout the Second World War. He took part in
the D-Day landings in June 1944, the liberation of Brussels and the advance
through Holland and Germany.
His MC citation paid tribute to his gallantry and stated that it was
believed that he was the first of the British ground forces to cross the
frontier into Germany
He was demobilised after the war and, in 1947, joined Cond Nast
Publications, working for various departments. When he became a director of
Vogue Italia his emolument consisted of a slap-up Roman meal.
In retirement Beaty settled in London, and derived great enjoyment from
Aubrey Beaty died on December 6. He married in 1943, Sheila, Miller, who
survives him with a son. Another son predeceased him.
|[W-OBITS] BEATY: Aubrey Valentine Vernon Beaty 2008 by "Peter McCrae" <>|