The funeral of Major Jeff Beadle MBE MC RM took place on Monday 17th May 2021. The sad passing of Jeff was felt throughout the Corps Family.
The funeral was supported by the Royal Marines Association with representation from RMA Portsmouth Branch, RMA Guildford Branch, RMA Hanworth Branch, RMA Cyclists Branch and two Buglers. The CO and RSM of 40 Commando also attended to represent the serving corps.
Jeffrey Charles Beadle was born in London in 1922, where his father, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Beadle, late of the East Surrey Regiment and the King’s African Rifles was a tobacconist.
Beadle enlisted in the Royal Marines in 1941. He commissioned the following year and soon began to carve his lively career by volunteering for duties of a ‘hazardous nature.’
He served with 40 Commando during the invasion of Sicily and was involved in the landing behind German lines to capture the port of Termoli.
Beadle was taken prisoner during the Brac Raid and was lucky to be kept alive. He had been mistaken for an airman and was taken to a hospital in Belgrade. When he recovered he was sent to Stalag Luft III. As the Russians began their advances they were forced to march back to Germany through the winter, an unimaginable task in such conditions. In April 1945 he managed to escape and make it to the Allied lines.
After the war he was granted a regular commission and re-joined 40 Commando for tours of duty in Malta, Tripoli, Cyprus and Suez.
In 1965 he stood vigil by Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin during the lying-in-state.
“Huge fun and very athletic”Major-General Julian Thompson, who led the Commando Brigade in the Falklands conflict
Beadle was subsequently awarded the Military Cross for, in the words of the London Gazette, “gallantry, leadership and outstanding determination”, or in those of Colonel Churchill’s citation, “truculent fighting spirit.”
As president of the Royal Marines Historical Society Beadle wrote a history of 40 Commando, The Light Blue Lanyard. In the chapter on Brac he observes: “The hard lesson was that in a combined operation the Partisans’ task should not directly affect the Commando task.” It was a lesson well taken in subsequent operations, much to the benefit of Evelyn Waugh and Winston Churchill’s son, Randolph, who arrived on Vis just six weeks later.
Letter from the Grandson of Major Jeffrey Beadle MBE MC RM
“I just wanted to convey the thanks and gratitude of Jeff’s family and friends for the amazing service you all provided to him yesterday in ensuring he was properly escorted to and from the Cathedral. I know that my grandfather himself would have been so proud and overwhelmed by the level of support the Corp provided, from those directly escorting my grandfather to the numerous RM elements making up the guard of honour. Your skills and professionalism, surpassed only by your compassion and commitment, resulted in you all providing the most fitting military tribute to Jeff. Although you had no rehearsal and a number of you had not previously met one another you clicked seamlessly into action and provided a seamless parade.
The last post and reveille were both played so well with standards lowered and raised to provide a stunning and fitting visual and acoustic experience. For that we cannot thank you enough. It is something I will remember for rest of my life and I am sure I speak for everyone else who was there, both physically and virtually.
Also many thanks to the CO and RSM of 40CDORM for representing the entire serving Corp of Royal Marines and for delivering the Royal Marines Prayer. We were so honoured to have you attend to pay respects from all who make up the current 40CDORM, a family my grandfather has been a member of since he first joined 40 in 1942.
Lastly, I give a huge thank you to those in the various RMA’s who provided me with such support in securing all of the elements required to make this the most perfect send off for Jeff. Nothing was ever too much for you to provide and it was such a pleasure to push on so many open doors!”