Kinlochbervie's memorial to Robert McBeath VC

Dedicated on Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Story of Robert McBeath VC...

Robert Gordon McBeath was born in Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire, in 1898 but at a young age was adopted by Robert MacKenzie and his sister Barbara MacIntosh and grew up in Kinlochbervie.

Aged just sixteen, and with World War I raging, Robert lied about his age and was accepted into the Seaforth Highlanders.

Two years later he was fighting in France at the Somme and it was during the Battle of Cambrai that his actions earned him that most coveted of decorations, the Victoria Cross.

Pinned down by German machine guns the Seaforths were taking heavy casualties. L/Cpl McBeath volunteered to attack the guns alone, armed with Lewis gun and revolver.

Storming one machine gun nest after the other McBeath succeeded in driving the Germans back into the shelter of a bunker where he captured thirty soldiers and three officers. For this incredible action he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Returning to Kinlochbervie after the war he married Barbara MacKay on 19 February 1918 but the crofting life wasn't for him and they emigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver where he joined the Police Department.

[Robert McBeath VC of Kinlochbervie]
[Vancouver PD patrol boat R G McBeath VC - Thanks to Roger Craik (rog45@flickr) for permission to use the photo]
It was in 1922 whilst arresting a motorist that Robert and his partner, detective Quirk, were shot - in MCBeath's case fatally.

His funeral in Vancouver was little short of a State affair, Vancouver PD's museum website describes the full procession.

After the funeral Robert's widow, Barbara, returned to Scotland where she remarried and is buried at Scourie.

Such is their continued reverence of the man, in 1995 the Vancouver Police Department named one of their patrol boats after him.

On Saturday, 12 September 2009, after years of work fund-raising, a specially commissioned cairn was dedicated to his memory at a spot over-looking Loch Innis, Kinlochbervie.

Despite the wet conditions the village turned-out to honour McBeath with bagpipes, poems and songs. Afterwards there was an exhibition of his life in the High School and a musical performance in the village hall in the evening.

John Morrison played a medley of pipe tunes.

Bruce Coughlan, of Tiller's Fiddle, sang the song he has written about Robert McBeath.

Mark MacDonald played the pipe tune "Robbie McBeath".

The monument is unveiled...

The momument, revealed.

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