The Beamish Brothers

Gp Capt Francis Victor Beamish

(1903-1942) flew in the Battle of Britain and became a ‘fighter ace’ by scoring 10 victories. Victor was station commander at RAF North Weald and RAF Kenley and was awarded the DSO (plus bar), DFC and AFC before being killed in action on 28 Mar 1942 leading the Kenley Wing.

Graduated from Cranwell 1923, retired from RAF on health grounds 1933, rejoined 1937, commanded 64 Squadron, AFC 1-1-38. Commanded 504 Squadron. Became OC North Weald 7-6-40 and flew operationally whenever possible, DSO 23-7-40, DFC 8-11-40. Flew against Italian Air Force 11-11-40. Posted to No 11 Group staff job 17-3-41. Bar to DSO 25-9-41. OC Kenley from 25-1-42.

Victor Beamish: Extracts from the London Gazette

Distinguished Service Order

Wing Commander Beamish took over command of an R.A.F, station after two squadrons there had been intensively engaged in successful fighting operations over France for thirteen days and personally led them on many patrols against the enemy. In June 1940 during an offensive mission over France six Messerschmitt 109s were destroyed, two of them by Wing Commander Beamish himself, and twelve driven off. One day recently he assisted in the destruction of a Messerschmitt 110 while leading the escort to a convoy and three days later he shot down a Dornier 17. This officer’s outstanding leadership and high courage have inspired all of those under his command with great energy and dash.(London Gazette 23 July 1940)

Distinguished Flying Cross

The work of this station commander has been outstanding. He has displayed exceptional keenness in is engagements against the enemy and has recently destroyed one and possibly a further seven enemy aircraft. His coolness and courage have proved an inspiration to all. (London Gazette 8 November 1940)

Bar to the Distinguished Service Order

Group Captain Beamish commanded an R.A.F. Station from October 1940 to march 1941 and during that period carried out 71 operational sorties in which he destroyed an enemy fighter, probably destroyed three other hostile aircraft and damaged others. Since his appointment to Group Headquarters he has probably destroyed two more enemy aircraft. The courage and devotion to duty displayed by Group Captain Beamish are of the highest order and he has set a magnificent example. (London Gazette 25 September 1941)
Total combat claims: 8 destroyed, 13 probably destroyed, 5 damaged.
Note: Group Captain Francis Victor Beamish was killed in action 1942.

Air Marshal Sir George Robert Beamish

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Air Marshal Sir George Robert Beamish (1905-1967) was an outstanding rugby player, playing for Harlequins, London Irish, Leicester, the RAF, Ireland and the British Lions. He was ADC to the King in WW2 and became AOCinC of Transport Command before retirement. George Beamish – RAF Rugby captain (with Douglas Bader).


Jan 1931

The RAF side who lost 0 – 16 to the Royal Navy in 1931. Long serving RAFRU secretary, Jimmy Lawson, is on the right in the rear row. George Beamish is Captain and Douglas Bader is on the far right in the front.

Gp Capt Charles Eric St John Beamish (1908-1984)


Charles Eric St John Beamish was the 3rd brother to join up as a pilot and was a keen rugby player and proficient golfer being RAF Individual Champion in 1927. As an aside… “On their way to the 1936 RAF Rugby final, the Digby team played Cranwell. So certain were Cranwell of their forthcoming victory, that they had booked a Vickers Valencia to fly the team to the next leg at Leuchars in Fife. Flt Lt C Beamish of Digby made himself very unpopular by asking if he could pilot the aircraft for use by the Digby team instead.” Charles Beamish – RAF rugby player – as well as regularly playing for the RAF, Charles represented Ireland alongside his brother George on many occasions


George Beamish Captain 07 January 1933

George Beamish Captains the RAF side, by now wearing their familiar plain light blue shirts, who lost 14-21 against Northampton on 7th January 1933. Directly behind him stands Cecil Davies who beat him in the 1932 RAF Heavyweight Boxing Final. Charles Beamish is second from the right in the front row.

Air Vice Marshal Cecil Howard Beamish (1914 – 1999)

Air Vice Marshal Cecil Howard Beamish (1914-1999) is a name synonymous with RAF golf. Inspection of the honours board will show his outstanding contribution to the game – 5 times winner of the RAFGS’s Challenge Cup and, incredibly, 7 times winner of the RAF Individual Championship over a period of 24 years (1949-1973) making him the most successful RAF golfer in our history.

A very capable administrator, Cecil was Chairman of the RAFGS, overseeing the formation of the RAFGA in 1971-72 and he was captain of the RAF team for many years through the 1960s until his retirement in 1973.

” The AVM Goes Out in Style” – Cecil’s RAF Championship bid, 1971.

Outside the Air Force, a look at Cecil’s golfing achievements, indicate what a excellent golfer he was:

◾Irish International, 1950-1956
◾T31 and 3rd place amateur at The Open at Royal Portrush, 1951
◾Belgian Amateur Open Champion, 1951
◾English Amateur Matchplay Championship, semi-finalist, 1951 and 1953
◾Lincolnshire County Champion, 1951
◾Irish Amateur Champion, runner-up, 1952
◾Hong Kong Amateur Open Champion, 1953
◾Ceylon Amateur Open Champion, 1954
◾Staffordshire County Champion, 1958 and 1962
◾England Seniors Over-65 Champion, 1984

Cecil was one of 4 extremely sporting Beamish brothers and outstanding RAF officers. Cecil was also a highly accomplished rugby player who played for London Irish and the RAF – Cecil Beamish – RAF rugby player


01 January 1937

The RAF team which drew 3-3 with the Royal Navy at Twickenham in 1937. RH Pratt, PJ Halford, AV Rogers, KBB Cross, LM Malcolmson, GA Walker (capt), GR Shipley, JO Holland, PS Hutchinson, WF Gascoigne, JA Roncoroni, CH Beamish, RH Waterhouse, G Greavers, L Fox.

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