Alexander Beech
Collection of David Beech, 6-27-07
Via email from David Beech, 6-27-07
Hi Ralph
      Enclosed a picture of Alexander C (Crutchley) Beech as an attatchment. I don't know how old Alex was when this picture was taken of him. The only 2 other pictures I have seen of him are,
      a: of him in a Canadian Uniform,
      b: one of him in the newspaper called the Dothan Eagle (GA) 20th November 1913 with a front page article about him crashing his plane.
      Other information: - He was of fair complexion, light fair hair, blue eyes, 5ft 7.1/2 inches tall. He had a scar under his bottom lip from an operation to fix a broken jaw. His occupation is listed as a dancing teacher and Church of England as his religion.
      He served with (Canadian) 2nd SS Battalion, RCR, regimental number 7021 in the Boer war South Africa. He signed up on 29th October 1899 at Victoria, BC (British Columbia I assume). He was wounded in action on February 18th 1900 at the battle of PAARDEBERG and sent back to England for recovery. He was invalid out of the Canadian army on 30th September 1900. He had been awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with two clasps (Paardeberg and Cape Colony).
      I have all the regimental documents but they are also available from the national archives of Canada (volume 14, page 12 REEL C-1836 and Vol 7, reel T-2061)
      My uncle also tells me he has some further information which he will make available, about when A C Beech was a soldier of fortune.
      I also understand that he remarried whilst on his deathbed, but I have no records of this.
      I don't know if this information is of any use, but at least you now have a photograph of him although not of a good quality.
Best Wishes
Editor's Note:David has confirmed that Alexander's parents were Alexander and Fanny. They are also his great-great grandparents. 9-2-07 -

Alexander Beech
Cincinnati, July 1913
Collection of Steven Beech, 9-26-07

Morristown Republican,
Volume XX, No. 41, August 29, 1913,
"Flights by Aeroplane, Free Attraction at The Fair, The Spiral Glide
and Other"Thrills" Will Feature in Sensational Performance,
All Flights Guaranteed."
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 12-27-03
      "The Morristown Fair Association has contracted for a series of sensational aeroplane flights to be given at the fair grounds during the three days (September 3, 4, 5, 1913) of the seventh annual show as a free attraction. A. C. Beech, one of America's most daring aviators will conduct his flights under the management of the Interstate Aviation Co., of Chicago. The fact that the flights will be given as a free attraction is of special note, for two of the most interesting features of aviation are the start, as the machine leaves the ground, and the landing after a successful flight. The wonderful machine rests on the ground as if asleep; the aviator arrives, looks the sleeping bird over carefully, examining every part, and then takes his seat. The assistant gives the propeller a sudden twist and the mechanical bird comes to life; it shakes and quivers all over, and you can almost believe it is alive. The aviator gives the signal, the great bird starts, faster and faster it runs along the ground, then rises into the air.
      One may look at a sailing or soaring aeroplane, winging its way like a giant eagle with wings outspread, and enjoy the wonderful flight. But to see the great "air bird" swoop down in a spiral glide on to the earth, the penetrating whir of the revolving propeller sounding like the angry hum of a giant wasp, and then rush along the ground with the speed of an auto and the aspect (definition - appearance to the eye or mind) of a prehistoric monster this is the most thrilling of all.
      This is the greatest free attraction ever booked by an East Tennessee Fair or exposition, and will doubtless be witnessed by record breaking crowds each day."
Bob Davis

>A. C. Beech
The Famous English Aviator
Collection of Jerry Blanchard, 9-9-09
Alexander C Beech
Does Exhibitions in Tennessee

Transcribed by Bob Davis, 7-20-04
     One of my most faithful and prolific contributors, Bob Davis, has shared this series of articles from The Daily Journal and Tribune and the Morristown Republican of 1913 with us. To read the entire series of interesting and revealing articles, click on:

Via email from Clarissa Reilly - 12-10-03
     I am the great-niece of Alexander Beech, another early aviator. I just received by air mail, (I live in Zambia, Africa), copies of my ancestor's details from the Harold E Morehouse collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space. It's just a brief profile of Alexander Beech's flying career from 1911 - 1918. There are various links with W C Robinson. Alexander was the designer and engineer of the Beech-National plane,(AKA Beech Farman). He was also taught to fly by Max Lillie, getting his license in August 1912. He was the pilot who succeeded Billy at Grinnell after his fatal crash. I have no information at all for you on Billy, but wondered if you might have any further information for me on Alexander Beech?
Kind regards
Clarissa Reilly
Via email from Clarissa Reilly - 12-29-03
     He was born on 14th April, 1873 in Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, England. he visited the US in 1898 and finally immigrated to Chicago in February of 1909. From an early age he was designing and patenting machinery. Somehow he managed to combine his pioneer aviation and aeroplane construction up till 1918 with military service as he is buried in the soldier's cemetery now Los Angeles National Cemetery.
      His record there states he was a trooper in A troop 4th US Cavalry... (he must have enlisted aged 43 or so!!) and he died on 15th April, 1940. He married Lee ? in 1913 and they had no children. From various US censuses I have tracked his physical progress round the US - Chicago was his main base (he had a brother there), but in 1920 he is in Manhattan working as an aeroplane machinist/designer, by 1930 back in Chicago and finally by 1940 he died in LA county.
     I wish I could find out more about his military service - can't understand why he should have enlisted at that late age - and into the US army - his brothers back in England has enlisted much earlier. Why was he a trooper in the cavalry when with his aviation skills he should have been doing something for the air force? The Harold Morehouse collection has no further details on him after 1918 and yet I know in 1920 he was still in the aviation business. I do know from a very very distant relative I managed to find and then lose again through the internet, that one of his Chicago brother's young sons was killed in an aviation accident, and I suppose the possibility exists that he lost his taste for flying after that, but this is pure surmise!
Anyhow email me a mailing address and I will send you what I have on him. Kind regards and best wishes to you for 2004 Clarissa Reilly

A.C.(ALEXANDER) BEECH(1873 - 1940)
Courtesy of  Find A Grave

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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