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Guarlford History Group

Memories of Sam Beard (1920 - 2011)

(A few reflections from Don Hill and Rosemary McCulloch)

Sam on his wedding day

It is with sadness that we learnt of the passing away of Sam Beard just a short time before what would have been the seventieth anniversary of his marriage to Freda.

We first met Sam and Freda a few years ago whilst, as members of the Guarlford History Group, we were researching material for The Guarlford Story and later The Guarlford Scene, and we both have fond memories of visits to Sam and Freda, taking tea and listening to reminiscences whilst poring over old photographs and memorabilia.

Sam was very proud of his Guarlford roots. He was born in February 1920 into the well-established Beard family of Guarlford and grew up in the village between the two World Wars, enjoying a country childhood, attending Guarlford School and St Mary's Church.

He provided many vivid memories for the History Group's projects, as can be seen in the two books about the history of the village and in 'Sam's Doodles' on the GHG Reminiscences pages of this website.

In 1938 Sam joined the Territorial Army, and two days before the start of the Second World War he was mobilised into the Regular Army.

At the time he was in a reserved occupation as a baker in Malvern Link but chose to join the army with his friends. In 1941 Sam was given notice of posting to Iceland, and while on short embarkation leave, he and Freda decided to get married. So Sam cycled all the way to The Old Palace at Worcester to collect a special licence.

British troops were withdrawn from Iceland, and Sam next saw active service with The Royal Artillery in North West Europe until the end of the war in Europe.

Sam was then posted to the Far East but whilst he was stopping in India en route, the Far East conflict ended. He remained in India having been promoted to Battery Sergeant Major and was demobilised in 1946. (Stories from Sam's army service were recorded by the Imperial War Museum and copies of the CDs are held by the History Group.)

Click this link for his account of joining up at the outbreak of war

After the War Sam worked for many years in the Fire Department at the Royal Radar Establishment. In 1996 Sam and Freda celebrated sixty five years of marriage at a party in the village hall;

Sam often sent donations to the Guarlford Village Hall Committee towards the upkeep of the hall and some of his memorabilia can be seen in the hall. He also donated the rustic seat fashioned from a cartwheel that sits in the entrance way. We will miss those gentle afternoons of tea and reminiscence. Our thoughts are with Freda and the family.

Based on an article that appeared in the Grapevine, September 2011