WW2 Pilot Laid to Rest

The puzzle of New Zealand pilot officer W. Stuart Beattie who was killed 69 years ago has finally been laid to rest. Torquay Royal British Legion secretary Ena Pethick turned supersleuth to find out why Beattie was buried miles from home with full military honours at Devon’s St Marychurch in December, 1941. His family and friends reunited for a memorial service on July 31. Pethick explained that the Beattie family had forged links with a family in St Marychurch when wounded soldier Jack Beattie was convalescing in Torquay during the First World War. A decade later, his nephew Stuart was undertaking air force training in England during the Second World War and would spend his leave with the English family. Stuart was killed in a plane crash over England on December 22, 1941. Pethick explained: “The Matthews family offered to organise his funeral and burial at St Marychurch.”

Tags: Devon  This Is South Devon  World War II