Freund Beaumont

Freund Beaumont was born in London on February 15th 1887, the second of five children of William Beaumont and his wife Emma.

In 1903 Beaumont started work as a boy clerk in the Accountant General’s office of the British Postal Service.  Three years later, in March 1906, he took a job in London & County Bank.  In 1909 London & County Bank merged with London Westminster Bank, and Beaumont became an employee of the enlarged London County & Westminster Bank.

During the First World War Beaumont left his post as clerk at the bank’s London St James’s Street branch to serve in the navy.  His background in banking gave him valuable experience of handling cash and managing accounts and so, like many bankers in the navy, he became an Assistant Paymaster.  By 1917 he was serving on board the HMS Laurentic.

Beaumont escaped the ship in one of the lifeboats, taking with him the pay ledger for which he was responsible – “faithful to the end”, as his Captain later noted. During the bitter night that followed he gave his coat to a fellow survivor.   He died later that night from exposure to the cold.  Only 5 of the 36 occupants of the boat survived; among them was the man to whom Beaumont had given his coat.

In a letter of condolence to Beaumont’s parents, Laurentic’s Captain called him “very hard-working and good in every way; never a fault in his work, and always willing”.

Beaumont’s youngest brother Henry, nine years his junior, was killed in action in the Western Front almost exactly a month later, while serving as a Private in the Honourable Artillery Company.

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