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Francis Rex Beech

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Francis Rex AWMM
  • Surname
    Beech AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 1093 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 July 1908 AWMM PictonMarlborough AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM Picton, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mr F.J. Beech (father), Picton, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 05 Jan 1940-31 March 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Corporal Beech was the son of Francis Joseph and Ethel Christina Beech, of Picton, Marlborough.

      Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45: Divisional Cavalry (p.45) lists Corporal Beech's death as being on 1 January 1941. AWMM
    • Francis Rex Beech (Service number 1093) from Picton, Marlborough served in the NZ Army in the Westrn Desert during World War 2. He gave his next of kin on embarkation as Mr F.J. Beech (father), of Picton,. A Radio engineer in civilian life, he was a Corporal in the 2nd Divisional Cavalry of 2NZEF: 1st Echelon (alongside his cousin John Brendon Beech #1092) He was Killed in Action, 1 February 1941 in Kufra, Libya and is buried at the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, in Acroma, Libya (grave reference 6.J.13). He was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) for his actions with the famous Long Range Desert Group that operated behind enemy lines in the Western Desert[3] His name appears on the War Memorial on the Picton-Nelson Road, and the panel for WW2 dead on the Picton War Memorial. Note: The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45: Divisional Cavalry (p.45) lists Corporal Beech's death as being on 1 January 1941. Another cousin Bernard McBeth, who was taken as a POW later in 1941, died in the Lamsdorf Death March in January 1945

      Kufra was an oasis of Strategic importance during WW2. On 31 January 1941 Pat Clayton, an explorer recruited by British Intelligence, was captured by the Italian Auto-Saharan Company near Jebel Sherif, when leading "T" Patrol in reconnaissance of the planned attack on Kufra. He was the basis for the character of Peter Madox in The English Patient. In 2008 historians Brendan O'Carroll (New Zealand), Guno Goss (Switzerland) and Roberto Chiavetto (Italy) travelled to Libya to track down three LRDG trucks that had been abandoned in 1941 at Gebel Sherif, in Southern Libya, after the LRDG's first encounter with their Italian equivalent, the Autosahariana. This 65 minute documentary traced their journey, and includes never before seen archival film of the LRDG in action. It was first aired on ANZAC day, 25 April 2009 on Television New Zealand Public - Jenifer - Researcher - 21 April 2020 - Wikitree / Francis Rex Beech.
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About death

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  • Death
    1 February 1941 AWMM
    Age 33 AWMM
    KufraLibya AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya AWMM 6.J.13. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Marlborough War Memorial, Second World War Panel AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Francis Rex Beech

Leave a note

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  • For Anzac Day 2024-I wish to acknowledge the dedication, bravery and ultimate sacrifice of Rex Beech in the service of New Zealand. In addition, the cause of freedom, human rights and the goals of equality and respect within societies worldwide. Rex was my mother's (Zena Catherine Beech 23/8/1924-21/3/2013) cousin. Jenny Curry
    Public - Jenny - Other relative - 5 April 2024



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  • External links
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 1: WW2 16 AWMM
    • Loughnan, R. (1963). Divisional Cavalry. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p. 45. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
05 April 2024JennyAucklandOther relative
21 April 2020JeniferWairarapaResearcher

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