Names on the buses

626 Ernest F Beal

647 Ernest F Beal

Connections with Brighton and Hove : The only Brighton man to have been awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War was Ernest F Beal, a member of a famous local family.He showed immense bravery in holding a section of trench, capturing machine guns and looking after a wounded man. Ernest Beal was born in 1883 and became an active member of the Boy’s Brigade. After attending Brighton Grammar School he worked in his father’s stationery shop in East Street and lived with his family in Lewes Road, Brighton. When war broke out in 1914, he was 31 and he enlisted as a trooper in the 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry. Later he was promoted to sergeant and was posted in 1915 to the Balkans. Beal was transferred to the 16th Royal Sussex Regiment in 1916 and served with his new unit on the Western Front. He was recommended for a commission and was finally transferred to the 3rd Yorkshire Regiment in 1917. Second Lieutenant Beal was awarded the posthumous VC for conspicuous bravery on March 22 1918 at St Leger. On that day, he died of wounds, aged 35, when saving the life of one of his men under fire. His name is listed on the Arras Memorial to the Missing in Pas-de-Calais, France. The announcement was made in The London Gazette and his parents received his posthumous VC from King George V in July. The VC was handed on to Ernest’s brother, Harold, on the death of his father and the campaign medals to his fiancée, May Bundy. The medals were loaned to the Green Howards Museum in 1964 and finally bequeathed in July 1973. Beal is commemorated on the memorial at the Old Steine and on the roll of honour in the hall of the former Boys Grammar School (now BHASVIC) His family ran the business which is now part of Sussex Stationers.

626 - Scania Omnidekka carried name since March 2005 on Coaster 12, in January 2007 name moved to bus 626 in Metro 1 livery, after originally having a spelling error for a day (Beale). Metro 1 branding removed March 2012.

Arras Memorial to the Missing in Pas-de-Calais, France

Victoria Cross