Frederick Beaumont-Nesbitt

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Frederick George Beaumont-Nesbitt
Sketch of Beaumont-Nesbitt in 1940
Sketch of Beaumont-Nesbitt in 1940
Born (1893-03-26)26 March 1893
Died 14 December 1971(1971-12-14) (aged 78)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1912–1945
Rank Major-General
Service number 1138
Unit Grenadier Guards
Commands held 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards (1932–1935)
Director of Military Intelligence (1939–1940)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards

Major-General Frederick George Beaumont-Nesbitt CVO CBE MC (26 March 1893 – 14 December 1971) was an officer of the British Army from 1912 until 1945. He served as a captain in the First World War, and was Director of Military Intelligence from the start of the Second World War until December 1940.

Biography[edit]

Beaumont-Nesbitt was the son of Edward John Downing Beaumont-Nesbitt, DL, and Helen Thomas.[1] He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1912.[2] He was promoted from second lieutenant to lieutenant on 5 August 1914,[3] and to captain in 1915, then serving as adjutant at the Divisional Base Depot.[2]

From 3 November 1915[4] until 16 August 1916[5] he served as aide-de-camp to General Richard Haking, the Commander of the 11th Army Corps, finally returning to his regiment on 16 September 1916.[6] On 8 May 1917 he was seconded to the staff as a General Staff Officer, Grade 3,[7] serving with the 4th Army.[2] On 24 March 1918 he was appointed brigade major[8] of the 3rd Guards Brigade.[2]

From February 1919 he served as the adjutant of a Dispersal Unit[9] (overseeing the demobilization of conscripts[10]), until on 29 May 1919 he was appointed a Staff Captain[11] in the 2nd Guards Brigade.[2] In December 1919 Beaumont-Nesbitt was awarded the Military Cross.[12]

He spent a year as an instructor in English at a French military school, before returning to his regiment in August 1921[13] to serve as adjutant until August 1922.[14] In November 1922 Beaumont-Nesbitt was attached to the War Office as a General Staff Officer, 3rd Grade,[15][16] and was promoted to the rank of major on 2 February 1924.[17] On 6 June 1924 he left the staff[18] only to return on 1 September 1926, as a General Staff Officer, 2nd Grade,[19] and served there until 1 September 1930.[20]

He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel on 22 May 1932,[21] and commanded the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, until 1935.[2] On 1 February 1936 he was appointed military attaché in Paris (as a General Staff Officer, 1st Grade, on half-pay)[22] with the brevet rank of colonel.[23] He was promoted to colonel on 22 May 1936, with seniority backdated to 1 February.[24] He was later made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

On 29 August 1938 Beaumont-Nesbitt was appointed the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence at the War Office, and granted the temporary rank of brigadier.[25] On the day following the declaration of war, 4 September 1939, he was made an acting major-general,[26] and took over as Director of Military Intelligence after the former incumbent Henry Pownall was appointed Chief of Staff of the British Expeditionary Force. On 4 September 1940 he received the temporary rank of major-general.[27] Beaumont-Nesbitt relinquished the position of DMI on 16 December 1940.[28]

On 15 January 1941 Beaumont-Nesbitt was re-granted the temporary rank of major general,[29] to serve as a military attaché, and from 15 June 1941[30] as a member of the British Army Staff, in Washington DC.[2] Between 1943 and 1945 he was on active service in the Middle East, North Africa and Italy,[2] receiving a mention in despatches on 6 April 1944 for "gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East"[31] and also being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1944 he was appointed an aide-de-camp to King George VI [2] serving until September 1945.[32] He ended the war as a liaison officer on the staff of Field Marshal Harold Alexander, Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean.[2]

Beaumont-Nesbitt left the Army in late 1945,[2] but remained in the Reserve of Officers until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60 on 24 March 1953.[33] He was appointed a Gentleman Usher to the Queen in November 1959,[34] and serving until April 1967.[35]

Major-General Beaumont-Nesbitt died on 14 December 1971.[36]

Personal life[edit]

In 1915 he married Ceclia Mary Lavinia Bingham (1893–1920), the daughter of Major-General the Honourable Sir Cecil Edward Bingham. They had two children; David Frederick John Beaumont-Nesbitt, (1916–1972) and Audrey Helen Anne Beaumont-Nesbitt, (1919–2009).[37] In 1928 he married the Honourable Ruby Hardinge (1897–1977), the daughter of Henry Charles Hardinge, 3rd Viscount Hardinge, and they had three further children; June Rose Beaumont-Nesbitt (1929–), Dermot Beaumont-Nesbitt, (1931–), and Brian Beaumont-Nesbitt, (1932–).[1][38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 2. Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 2423. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Nesbitt, Frederick George Beaumont (1893–1971), Major General". King's College London: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28890. p. 6980. 1 September 1914.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29382. p. 11875. 26 November 1915.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29726. p. 8483. 25 August 1916.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29804. p. 10422. 27 October 1916.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30155. p. 6383. 26 June 1917.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30644. p. 4840. 19 April 1918.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31362. p. 6598. 27 May 1919.
  10. ^ Baker, Chris (2010). "Demobilisation and discharge". The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in the Great War of 1914–1918. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31431. p. 8364. 1 July 1919.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31684. p. 15438. 9 December 1919.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32470. p. 7631. 27 September 1921.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32744. p. 6441. 5 September 1922.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32769. p. 8214. 21 November 1922.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32772. p. 8521. 1 December 1922.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32903. p. 956. 1 February 1924.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32943. p. 4525. 6 June 1924.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33200. p. 5909. 10 September 1926.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33641. p. 5491. 5 September 1930.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33828. p. 3348. 24 May 1932.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34256. p. 1058. 18 February 1936.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34258. p. 1164. 21 February 1936.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34286. p. 3295. 22 May 1936.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34547. p. 5605. 2 September 1938.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34680. p. 6239. 12 September 1939.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 34936. p. 5327. 30 August 1940.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35021. p. 7203. 20 December 1940.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35059. p. 616. 28 January 1941.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35259. p. 5006. 26 August 1941.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36456. p. 1589. 4 April 1944.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37297. p. 4935. 5 October 1945.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39832. p. 2257. 21 April 1953.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 41865. p. 7091. 10 November 1959.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44282. p. 3695. 4 April 1967.
  36. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45565. p. 166. 4 January 1972.
  37. ^ Freer, Alan. "The Descendants of William the Conqueror (p.117)". william1.co.uk. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  38. ^ Freer, Alan. "The Descendants of William the Conqueror (p.114)". william1.co.uk. Retrieved 15 March 2014.