Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

Henry Charles Beale (1828 - 1899)

Henry Beale was a survivor of the Crimean War and his passing caused controversy as no military funeral was provided.


The Salford Reporter of 23rd September 1899 recorded "Henry Charles Beale, an army pensioner, who formerly resided in Gerard Road, Broughton, died suddenly at his residence on Sunday night. The deceased joined the 44th Regiment (East Sussex) in his early years and was first stationed in Gibraltar. He passed through the Crimean War being present at the battles of Alma and Inkerman and the capture of Sebastopol for which he received the Turkish medal and the Crimean medal with three clasps. He was next sent to India with his Regiment, but was not actively engaged in quelling the mutiny, his regiment taking the place of another which had marched onto Delhi. He was present at the taking of the *Taku forts in 1860 for which he received the Chinese medal and clasp.


He retired from the army after more than 20 years service with the long service and good conduct medal; with the rank of Band Sergeant; and with the entry on his discharge papers that during the whole of his period of service, his name had never appeared on the defaulters book, truly a wonderful record. After his death the Reverend J. Dyer Bray, Pastor of the Baptist Church, Great Clowes Street, Broughton, applied to the authorities at Hulme Barracks that military honours should be paid to the memory of the deceased. To his surprise he was informed that owing to adverse criticism in the local press, with regard to the funeral of another Crimean veteran in Manchester some time ago, the Colonel of the Regiment had decided that in future, military honours should not be paid on the death of a Crimean veteran. Mrs Beale then appealed to the Colonel, but he said that the band had a prior engagement.


The Funeral took place on Thursday (21st September) afternoon. A service was held at Great Clowes Street Baptist Church, Broughton, conducted by Reverend J.D.Bray, followed by interment in the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery. Only family and a few friends were present.


*The Battle of the Taku Forts occurred in 1860 when the Government of China refused to ratify the Treaty of Tienstin. As representatives of Britain and France tried to proceed up the Peiho River to ascertain the cause, they found the waterway blocked. Admiral Hope was ordered to force a passage, by attacking the Taku Forts, but he was repulsed with heavy losses. The 44th Regiment composed of 35 officers and 1,176 men were brought in from India. The forts along the river were protected by a series of ditches, bamboo stake palisades and heavy musket fire. The 44th were in the vanguard of the assault on the North Taku Fort. They tried to storm the main gate, but this failed. However they breached a wall and forced an entry into the fort. Next to fall was the Outer North Fort and then by evening they had captured the south forts. During the fighting 2 officers were severely wounded, 14 men were killed and one drummer and 45 men were wounded.