A touching tribute is being paid to a Thurleigh soldier who fought for the Bedfordshire Yeomanry Regiment in the First World War.
A photograph of 20-year-old Edward Norman Beavington, known as Jack, was donated to the University of Bedfordshire by the soldier’s son, Dr Frank Beavington.
Jack and brother Dick tossed a coin to decide which one should enlist in August 1914 when the last load of wheat sheaves was brought to the family farm – and which one would stay to tend the farm for the war effort. Jack won the toss and went off to war. After disembarkation in France in June 1915, Jack saw action on the Somme and at Cambrai and was awarded the three standard Great War medals – the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Returning to England in 1918, Jack continued the family tradition of farming – going on to run two farms in Thurleigh, before his premature death in 1937.
Dr Beavington, who also runs his own farm, said: “I wasn’t born when my father served in the First World War, but I’m well aware of the joy and relief shared by my brothers and sisters on his safe return home.”
The university plans to display Jack’s picture for a week at its Luton Campus Centre.