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Major General Edmund Charles Beard, CB, CBE, MC (21 April 1894 – 20 January 1974) was a British Army officer during the First and Second World Wars and in 1946 was aide-de-camp to the king, George VI.

Edmund Charles Beard
Born(1894-04-21)21 April 1894
Terenure, Dublin, Ireland
Died20 January 1974(1974-01-20) (aged 79)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1914–1946
RankMajor General
Service number9698
UnitRoyal Irish Regiment
South Lancashire Regiment
Duke of Wellington's Regiment
Commands heldPoona Area (1943–46)
133rd Infantry Brigade (1940–42)
1st Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment (1939)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches

Military careerEdit

Educated at Marlborough and Oxford University, Beard was commissioned in the Royal Irish Regiment in 1914.[1] He served in the First World War at Gallipoli and in Salonika, Palestine and in France.[1] He was Mentioned in Despatches, wounded and awarded the Military Cross in 1917.[1]

Beard transferred to the Prince of Wales's Volunteers in 1922.[1] He was a staff captain in India for the next four years and attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1927 to 1928.[1] He served on the staff of Southern Command and then became Brigade Major for 9th Infantry Brigade in 1930 and then from 1933 served on the staff at the War Office.[1] He transferred to the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in 1937 and commanded the 1st Battalion in 1939.[1]

Beard became Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General with the 44th Division in France with the British Expeditionary Force.[1] He became commander of the 133rd Infantry Brigade in England in 1940 and, promoted on 1 October 1940, with seniority backdated to 1 July 1938, to colonel,[2] became Brigadier General Staff Home Forces in 1942.[1] Promoted to major general in 1942, he held area command in India until 1946 when he retired from the army.[1]

Beard was Colonel of the South Lancashire Regiment from 1948 to 1957.[1]

His portrait as a major general is in the National Portrait Gallery in London[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Smart, p. 26
  2. ^ "No. 35021". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1940. p. 7203.
  3. ^ "Edmund Charles Beard". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 19 October 2017.


  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.

External linksEdit