Maurice George (Lofty) BEECKEN

BEECKEN, Maurice George

Service Number: SX8848
Enlisted: 13 July 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kadina, South Australia, 29 July 1916
Home Town: Hyde Park, South Australia
Schooling: Kadina Primary & Goodwood Boys Technical School,, South Australia
Occupation: Oxywelder
Died: Killed in Action, New Guinea, 16 November 1943, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Lae War Cemetery
Section 7, Plot F, Row D, Grave 13,
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

13 Jul 1940: Enlisted Private, SX8848, Adelaide, South Australia
13 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX8848, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
14 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SX8848
16 Nov 1943: Involvement Private, SX8848, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns

Kimba soldiers, resting together.

Maurice George Beecken (Lofty)
Maurice was born in Kadina on the 29th July 1916 to Eliza and George. He was the third son of nine children, Cora, Dorothy, John, Violet, George, Gwendoline, Thomas, Maurice and Ernest. Tragedy struck the family when their second son, George died in infancy in 1913.
In those times travelling salesmen would visit country regions with various potions and lotions for different ailments. Eliza wrote in the local Kadina and Wallaroo Times about the effectiveness of a product called Doan’s Backache Kidney Pills, extolling the virtue of the product in making her “completely free of backache, and my general health was splendid. It is three years since I was cured, and I have had no return of the complaint since. I cannot speak highly enough of Doan's Backache Kidney Pills and recommend them to other sufferers with every confidence." Such was the power of personal recommendation, especially having experienced the nine pregnancies.
Maurice’s family moved to the suburb of Hyde Park where Maurice completed his secondary schooling at the Goodwood Boys Technical School. There he attained his skills in oxywelding, abilities he used in car maintenance as a motor driver, an occupation in which he was involved until he enlisted for WWII, just prior to his 26th birthday. He was a fit, active sportsman, particularly in Australian Rules football.
As SX8848 he became part of the newly formed 2/48th Battalion which travelled on the Stratheden for the Middle East, little knowing he was part of a group that would earn the admiration of both fellow soldiers and enemy troops. An early bout of enteritis in October of 1941 resulted in hospitalisation before he was involved in any fighting. By July of 1942, then aged 25, Maurice suffered a bomb injury to the base of his spine which again resulted in hospitalisation and move to a Casualty Clearing Station. He was fortunate to survive the fighting in the Middle East but on return to Melbourne experienced inflammation in the muscles of his lower back, neck and shoulder pain, all probably related to his prior bomb injury. However, he recovered, briefly returning to Australia in February of 1942 before sailing to New Guinea. By December of that year, his family learned of his untimely death, aged just 27, killed in action on the 16th November 1943.
The circumstances are outlined in John Glenn’s book ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ with the artillery supported first major main attack on the Japanese held Green Ridge by Maurice’s A Company. That Ridge was a key position at Sattelberg as it had commanding view of the coast, hence was a key position. was held by sixty well dug in Japanese, with the added advantage of up to a foot head cover – a daunting prospect. However, the 2/48th had already taken Lae and Finschhafen. He explains that the narrowness of the main track “prevented a frontal of more than one platoon” thus losing the effectiveness of the main barrage. With the successful fire of the 2/2nd Machine guns on the far feature of the Ridge, it fell into the hands of A Company, as White Trunk Tree was also overrun. While the Japanese suffered 18 killed, A Company’s Maurice and Max Trengrove, SX7890, who also was born in Kadina, were badly wounded and died of their injuries. Four years older, Max had enlisted the month before Maurice. Their graves were initially respectfully marked with a wooden cross to which their names were stamped on tin. Both were later reburied at the Lae War Cemetery in 1944.
In his short life, Maurice has earned the 1939/45 Star, the AFRICAN Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal and War Medal all of which were sent to his family post war in 1950.
His family, friends and fellow soldiers continued to remember Maurice through In Memorium notices in the local Adelaide Advertiser. Still grieving for Maurice, tragedy again visited the family when their then 39-year-old married sister, Dorothy Naomi Sheppard died in March 15 1944, died after an illness. Besides her husband, she left two young children, Keith and Ruth. Three of the nine children had pre-deceased their parents. George lived into his 80’s and died June 19th 1964, while Eliza died on June 1st 1975 aged 90.
Tributes to Maurice included: December 1943, BEECKEN, Pte. Maurice G., SX8848.— Killed in action somewhere in New Guinea, Nov. 16, dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Beecken. A duty nobly done. —Inserted by mother and father.
BEECKEN, Pte. Maurice G., SX8848.— Killed in action, Nov. 16. —Ever remembered by his sisters and brothers. Dorrie, Cora, Vi, Gwen, Thelma, Jack, Ross. Ern. in-laws. Deb. Bet. Dorothy. Alb, Harold, Vic. Loved by all who knew him.
BEECKEN. —Pte. Maurice G. killed in action. N.G., November 16. —Ever remembered by his friend. Val.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of Morrie (A.I.F.), killed in N.G. November 16. —Remembered always by his uncle Tom, aunty Opal, Ken (R.A.N.), and John.
Thursday 16 November 1944, BEECKEN. —Is loving memory of on dear son, Pte. Maurice George. 2/48th Batt, killed in action, N.G. Nov. 16 1943, He walks beside us in the passion years, and lifts his hand to wipe away our tears. —Loved, remembered, longed for always by his mum and dad.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother, Morrie killed in action in N.G. Not Just today, but every day. In silence we remember. —Sadly missed by Ross and Dorothy.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle. Maurice, KIA. N.G. Nov. 16. 1943. Not a day do we forget' you, in our hearts you are always near; we who loved you sadly miss you as it dawns the first sad year. —Ever remembered by Jack. Deb. Margaret, and Max.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle. Maurice. K.I.A. N.G. Nov. 16. 1943. As we loved him so we miss him: in our memories he is dear. —Longed for always, Vi, Harold Brian, Pat and Betty.
BEECKEN. —Treasured memory of my dear brother, Maurice, killed in action 1 Nov. 16. 1943, Sattelberg. He will never quite leave us, the boy that we loved; a thousand sweet memories are holding him fast to the home he blessed with his presence and love. —So dearly loved, sadly missed. Gwen.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our beloved brother and uncle, Maurice 2/48th Batt., K.I.A., N.G. Nov. 16, 1943 There is a place that is always with us and a voice that we loved to hear; a smile we all remember and a memory so dear —Always remembered. Cora. Alb (RAAF) Joan, John and Kay.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle. Maurice. K.I.A. N.G. Nov. 16, 1943 He loved his country's good with a respect more tender and profound than his own life. —Lovingly remembered by Ern, Bet, Jenifer and Maurice.
BEECKEN. —Cherished memories of dear Morrie, KIA. Nov. 16, 1943, at Sattelberg. I think of you In silence and love to speak your name; your smiling face and happy ways will linger with me all my days. —Always remembered by Thelma.
BEECKEN. —A proud tribute to our dear nephew and cousin, Maurice. dearly loved. —Auntie Opal. Uncle Tom Ken (R.A.N.) and John.
BEECKEN, Pte. Maurice, SX8848. Killed in N.G. Nov. 16. 1943. In memory of our true pal Bill. —Remembered by Edna and Mal.
BEECKEN. —In memory of our pal; Morrie. killed in action Nov. 16, 1942 —Always remembered by his pals. Maud and Plum.
Friday 16 November 1945, BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear son Morrie, 2/48th Batt., killed in action, Sattelburg, November 16, 1943. No morning dawns or evening sets, with-out dear thoughts of you, son. —Longed for always by mum and dad.
BEECKEN. —A tribute of love to the memory of my dear brother Pte. Maurice, 2/48th Batt. who gave his all at Sattelburg. November 16, 1943. May we prove worthy of the sacrifice made. So dearly loved, so sadly missed. —Gwen.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother Maurice, killed in action, New Guinea, November 16, 1943. Your cheerful smile and happy ways, will linger with us all our days. —Always re-membered by his brother and sister-in-law Ross and Dorothy.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear nephew and cousin Morrie, killed in action. New Guinea, November 16, 1943. —Ever remembered by Auntie Opal, Uncle Tom, Ken (R.A.N.) and John.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of Pte. Maurice. 2/48 th Batt., killed in action at Sattelburg, November 16. 1943, Cherished memories. —Ever remembered by Thelma.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle Morrie, killed in action, New Guinea. November 16, 1943. Always in our thoughts. —Inserted by his loving sister Vi. brother-in-law Harold, nieces and nephew.
BEECKEN, SX8848 M. G. —In loving memory of Morrie, who made the supreme sacrifice at Sattelburg, November 16, 1943. Honored among Australia's brave. —Always remembered by his brother Ern, sister-in-law Bet, and family.
BEECKEN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle Morrie, killed in action, New Guinea, November 16, 1943. Not Just today but every day we remember you. —Inserted by his brother Jack, sister-in-law Deb, and family. BEECKEN. —In proud and loving memory of our dear brother, brother-in-law and uncle Morrie, who was killed in New Guinea. November 16, 1943. He lives with us in memory still, not just today but always will. —Inserted by his loving sister Cora, brother-in-law Alb. (R.A.A.F., Borneo), nieces and nephew, Brisbane.
Saturday 15 November 1947, BEECKEN, Pte. Maurice, late 2/48th Batt. —ln loving memory of our dear son and brother, killed at Sattelberg, 1943. Sweet memories form a golden chain to treasure till we meet again. —Longed for always by mum. dad, sisters, brothers and Thelma, sisters-in-law and brothers in-law.
Tuesday 16 November 1948, BEECKEN. —Cherished memories of our dear son and brother. Pte. Maurice, late 2/48th Batt., k.i.a, New Guinea, November 16, 1943. —Always remembered by mum, dad, sisters, brothers-in-law, and Thelma.
Thursday 16 November 1950, page 22 BEECKEN, Maurice G.— In loving memory of our dear son and brother, late 2nd 48th Battalion, killed in action, New Guinea. November 16, 1943. Always in our thoughts. — Ever re-membered by his loving mother, father, sisters, brothers and Thelma.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes, SX8133 2/48th battalion.

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