Canada in the Second World War


George Edwin (Ted) Beament

Brigadier-General (Ret’d) George Edwin (Ted) Beament (1908-2005)

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1908, G. E. (Ted) Beament attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute. From a young age, he expressed an interest in becoming a lawyer, but his father, who had established his own law firm, wanted him to become a soldier. He therefore enrolled in the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, and soon after graduating as a gold medalist in 1929, he joined the militia as a member of the 30th Field Regiment, “The Bytown Gunners”. In 1930, he joined the 25th Field Battery as Second Lieutenant and by 1938 was promoted to Major and simultaneously Commanding Officer. During this period, in order to pursue a career in law, he enrolled in the University of Toronto, where he earned an engineering degree and then went on to complete his law studies at Osgoode Hall. He was called to the bar of Upper Canada in 1934 and then joined the family firm in Ottawa.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Ted Beament enlisted in the Canadian Active Service Force and was appointed Officer Commanding 2nd Field Battery, RCA. In order to equip the battery, he took a loan of $2,000 from his father. In 1940, the battery was deployed overseas and trained in England, where he eventually met and married Brenda Thoms in 1941.

Ted Beament was promoted and appointed to several roles during the early years of the war before being moved to Headquarters, First Canadian Army, as General Staff Officer, Grade I (Operations) in 1943. He was involved in planning Canada’s participation in Operation Overlord and landed with the Canadian General Staff at Juno Beach a few weeks after D-Day, 6 June 1944, serving throughout the Battle of Normandy and the campaign in North-West Europe. In July 1945, his promotion to Brigadier, General Staff was confirmed and he was appointed Commandant and President of the Khaki University of Canada, an institution in England run by the Army and designed to prepare Canadian military personnel for a post-war career. Ted Beament returned to Canada with his wife and young family in 1946.

For his wartime service, Ted Beament was awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, the Order of the White Lion (Third Class) and the Military Cross from the Republic of Czechoslovakia, was Mentioned in Despatches, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He spent more than 40 years in military service, as an Artillery and General Staff officer during wartime, and as a part-time soldier and Honorary Colonel in peacetime.

After the war, he practised law in Ottawa and remained active in community and volunteer services, including serving as commissioner with the National Capital Commission’s predecessor organisation from 1961 to 1966, as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and Chancellor of the Order of St John in Canada. He retired from active legal practice in 1978, although he retained his role as Counsel in the firm. In 1986, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition for his community service and the establishment of legal aid in Ontario.

Ted Beament died in September 2005 at the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Centre shortly after receiving the Military Cross of the Czech Republic and winning the right for veterans’ spouses to be cared for in the same facility as the veteran.

Medals and decorations

September 1945 Khaki University – Lt. Gen. Murchie, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, G.E. Beament

Visit of Montgomery to Khaki University. Ted as president on right guiding Monty during the visit.

Visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth to Khaki University Cassabury Park 1945-46.  Justin, Ted’s son, gives the bouquet.