Reg Beeston (1905-1999) Home and family

Home and family.

Beeston’s autobiography is mysterious as it does not go into detail about his home life or his family. There is no mention of Beeston having any siblings, yet when I looked up a birth record for Regnald Arthur Beeston born in 1905, it says he actually had three brothers and one sister, Albert Edgar, Lionel Victor, Evelyn Ann and Ernest Henry. Beeston was a middle child close in age to the others.

Beeston was happy with village life and the people in his village, including a few of the boys he went to school and then to work with. This is different to most working class autobiographies that want to go into detail about their home and family life, especially how many siblings they had to share everything with. This is not so for Beeston who is keen on ignoring his family life and focusing on his beloved Uley.

Beeston grew up with two parents, his mother who he believes sent him to school aged three because he was in her way (which would have been due to her having other children to take care of.) We also know that his father, Herbert Beeston was a cobbler, and that he was sent to France whilst Beeston was still in school. Something which would have put more pressure on his mother, Ellen Sarah, who was most likely a stay at home mother.

As his autobiography is up until 1930 he does not  detail meeting his wife Gladys Rose Hurcombe, who I found in a marriage record for Regnald Beeston. He was twenty five years old when he was wed. This shows that Beeston’s account of his life is from a more public perspective, because he does not wish to give away too much of his personal family history.

His home life is not expressed in his account of his childhood, as he wanted all the focus to be outside in the village. He is more interested in people who are not his family, as well as places that were not his house. It is peculiar that he does not even describe the house that he lived in at the time.He considers Uley to be his true home ( although he was born in Stitchcombe and moved to Uley aged two) as he  loves the village and the community.

Looking at genealogy sites showed that he did come from a two parent, five children household, even though his parents did move around with a few of the children being born in different places (the oldest being born in Wales!)

1) Lonely chair- represents Beeston as someone who does not mention his family.


Beeston, Reg, ‘Some of my memories of and about Uley until about 1930, Brunel University Library,  vol no. 2:56

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