Portrait of Company Quarter-Master Sergeant Frederick Lars John Beu.
Frederick Lars John Beu was born in Wellington on 13 March 1884. His father, John Charles Frederick Beu was a German who had come to New Zealand with his Swedish wife Matilda some time prior to Frederick's birth.
It seems likely that Johann came from Stralsund, a town on the Baltic coast of Prussia which had strong trading links with Sweden as the Beu's gave the name "Stralsund Villa" to their home at 515 Adelaide Road, Wellington.
Frederick was the oldest and the last to enlist of John and Matilda's four sons who served with the New Zealand Army during the First World War. Otto and Gustav fought with the Rifle Brigade, and Reinhold with the Auckland Infantry Regiment and the Machine Gun Company. They all survived the war.
Frederick was 33 years old when he was balloted for military service in early November 1917. He was working as an engineer for Blundell Brothers, proprietors and printers of the 'Evening Post' newspaper, and was living at "Stralsund Villa" with his wife Barbara, whom he had married in Christchurch on 3 June 1914. He entered training camp on 2 May 1918 and was posted initially to 'B' Company of the 40th Reinforcements. During May and July he was transferred twice between the 44th and 45th Reinforcements at Trentham, confirmed in rank as Temporary Corporal on 16 May and sent to Featherston Camp on 31 July. On 2 August he was transferred yet again to 'B' Company of the C1 camp at Tauheranikau. This was the camp for men who had been medically graded as 'C1' (likely to become fit for active service after special training), and Frederick was promoted to the rank of Company Quarter-Master Sergeant on 19 September. On 1 November he was transferred to 'D' Company of the 50th Reinforcements and on 26 November, after the Armistice, was placed on unpaid leave awaiting his demobilisation, which took place on 27 March 1919.
Frederick died at Wellington on 29 June 1953, aged sixty-nine.
Colourised By Brendan Graham 2018 from an original black and white Image courtesy of Te Papa (B.044398)