Harland and Wolff - Shipbuilding and Engineering Works

10/14066, Rifleman John Beastall, 10th (Service) Battalion (South Belfast Volunteers), Royal Irish Rifles. Accidentally killed, 25 June 1917, aged 22 years. Son of William and Marian Beastall, 15 Parkgate Avenue, Strandtown, Belfast. Born Ballymacarrett, County Down, enlisted Belfast. Signed the Ulster Covenant at Strandtown Hall and Belmont Presbyterian Church, September 1912. Interred Derry House Cemetery No. 2. Grave reference: I.B.7. “The Toll From Belfast. Official intimation has been received of the death of Lance-Corporal John Beastall, Royal Irish Rifles, at the age of 22 years, third son of Mr. Wm. Beastall, of 15 Parkgate Avenue, Strandtown. Deceased soldier, who was an apprentice boilermaker in Harland & Wolff's, enlisted in September, 1914. He went out with the Ulster Division, and, with the exception of one period of leave in February, 1916, Had been on continuous service overseas. He was continually doing duty at Headquarters of his Battalion, and the circumstances of his death have been communicated to his bereaved parents by the Headquarters of his Battalion, and also by Rev. D.R. Mitchell, C.E. The former writes – “He was one of the most unselfish, thoughtful young fellows I have ever met, and deservedly one of the most popular in the Battalion. For the past nine months he has been my personal orderly. . . . I got to know him well, and so love him almost as a brother.” Rev. D. R. Mitchell, after referring to the brave deed which cost young Beastall his life, says – “Your son died a hero, and if ever anyone gave his life for his comrades your brave boy did so, and we are all stricken with grief. But his last act was just in keeping with his character throughout. All the Headquarters officers agree that he was one of the finest men in the Battalion, always most faithful in the discharge of every duty, and had withal such a winsom personality . . . we are getting a special cross erected over his grave with the words, “He Died Trying to Save Others.” Belfast Telegraph – 9 July 1917. “Beastall - Accidentally killed on June 25, 1917, at Headquarters of his Battalion, No. 14,006, Lance-Corporal John Beastall, aged 22, third and dearly-beloved son of Wm. and Marian Beastall. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Deeply regretted by his sorrowing Father and Mother. Wm. and Marian Beastall. 15 Parkgate Avenue, Strandtown.” Belfast Telegraph – 9 July 1917. “Beastall - June 25, 1917, Accidently killed overseas at Headquarters of his Battalion, No. 14,006, Lance-Corpl. John Beastall. “He died trying to save others.” Sadly missed by his loving Sisters and Brothers.” Belfast Telegraph – 9 July 1917. Photograph - “Lance-Corpl. J. Beastall, Royal Irish Rifles, 5 Parkgate Avenue, Strandtown, accidently killed at the Front.” Belfast Telegraph – 20 July 1917. Newspaper report - “Accidentally killed. Royal Irish Rifles. Beastall, 14066, L.-Cpl. J. (Belfast).” Belfast Telegraph – 21 July 1917.