Edward Beck (British Army officer)

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Edward Beck
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1900–1945
UnitRoyal Scots Fusiliers
Commands held2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
2nd Infantry Brigade
9th (Highland) Infantry Division
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
World War I
World War II
AwardsDistinguished Service Order

Major General Edward Archibald Beck, DSO (1880–1974) was a senior British Army officer who commanded the 9th (Highland) Infantry Division during World War II.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[1] Beck was commissioned into the Royal Scots Fusiliers as a second lieutenant on 20 January 1900.[2] He left Southampton in the SS Assaye the following month,[3] to fight in the Second Boer War with the 2nd battalion of his regiment. In South Africa, he took part in operations in Natal from March to April, then in the Transvaal from May to November 1900, including the action at Frederickstad. He was promoted to lieutenant on 6 April 1901, and that year took him to Cape Colony, north of the Orange river, including action at Ruidam. For his service he received the Queen's Medal with two clasps.[4] Following the end of the war in June 1902, Beck returned home on the SS Kinfauns Castle in October.[5]

Seconded to the Egyptian Army in 1909, he then saw active service in the First World War,[2] during which he was six times mentioned in despatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).[1] He was appointed Chief Instructor at the Small Arms School at Hythe in 1925, Commander of the 2nd Battalion the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1929, and Instructor at the Senior Officers' School at Sheerness in 1932.[2] He went on to be a staff officer with Scottish Command in 1933, Commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade at Aldershot Command in 1935 and Director of Personal Services at the War Office in 1938.[2] He served in the Second World War as Commander of the 9th (Highland) Division before retiring from the regular army in 1940, [2] continuing his war service with the Perthshire Home Guard until the end of the War.[2]


  1. ^ a b Dix Noonan Webb
  2. ^ a b c d e f Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ "The War - Embarcation of Troops". The Times (36078). London. 1 March 1900. p. 7.
  4. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1903
  5. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning Home". The Times (36899). London. 15 October 1902. p. 8.
Military offices
Preceded by
George Lindsay
General Officer Commanding 9th (Highland) Infantry Division
March 1940 – June 1940
Succeeded by
Alan Cunningham