Royal Army Medical Corps

John James Beard was born about 1865 in Hammersmith to James and Sarah (nee Lydford) Rampton. Father was a painter decorator from St. Pancras and she was originally from Somerset.

In 1871, census shows the family living at 11 Usher Road. Father James (32), Mother Sarah (31), William (9), John (6), Selina (5), Albert (3) and Alexander (8mo.) John was born in Hammersmith and the rest of his siblings were also born around London.

In 1881, he is with family at 41 Johnson Street, Hammersmith. Father is no longer listed on the census and Sarah is stated to be a widower and a seamstress. Two further siblings have been born Ada (8) and Arthur (4). John has followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a House Decorator, but at the time unemployed.

He married Edith Harriett (nee Beacon) on 17th December 1904 in the Parish Church of St Andrews, Haverstock Hill. At the time he was resident at 27 Lorrimou? Square, Walworth

The 1911 census shows the family are living at Belle Vue Villa, Kennel Ride, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berkshire. He is recorded aged 46 as an Army Pensioner and Dispenser with a private pratice (or practitioner)


The electoral register for 1945 show John living at 14 Whitehaven House, in Wandsworth, Battersea.


Extensive Service Records are stored at the National Archives for this soldier.

A Short Service Attestation (3 Years Colours – 9 Years Reserve) record dated 13th September 1887 shows he became Regimental No. 7886 of the Medical Service Corps. He was 23 and previously working as a Railway Porter. Upon completion of his short service, he elects to extend service to 12 years in the colours and, again, in 1897 to complete 21 years colour service.

His attributes upon discharge are 5 foot 5 inches with a fresh complexion, dark brown hair, dark blue eyes and a chest of 38 inches.

The later part of his military career sees him receive an acting appointment of Sergeant Major and service with the Territorial Force, before electing to leave with 3 months’ notice in line with Kings Regulations. His service conduct is stated to be exemplary. His transferrable skills to civilian life are listed as: Dispenser, Trained Nurse, Instructor in First Aid and Ambulance Work. He is aged 45 years and 4 months.

Miitary Milestones

As a Staff Sergeant, he was a holder of the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) with gratuity.


• L1923 E.C. United Brethren Lodge, Malta (now extinct) • L2976 E.C Comrades Lodge 6th August 1903 – 28th February 1910 (resigned) • L3432 E.C. In Arduis Fidelis Lodge, London 3rd March 1910 - Founder member of Comrades Lodge One of the 25 petitioners not named individually on the Warrant of Constitution. Despite moving away he retained his membership of Comrades Lodge, giving over 42 years’ service. Petitioner, Founder and Junior Warden of In Arduis Fidelis Lodge No. 3432. This is the Royal Army Medical Corps Lodge which meets at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London. Its sponsor Lodge was L2312, London Irish Rifles.

Post Military

After leaving the Army he set up at a Private Practice Dispenser. The death index shows he died at Battersea in 1946. A supporting death certificate exists showing that he was 81 at the time of death on the 3rd January 1946. E.H Rampton, widow was present at time of death. They were resident at 14 Fontarabia Road, Lavender Hill, Battersea. Cause of death had been certified by O. W. Nelki L.R.C.P.

  1. Cardiac Failure
  2. Myodegeneration Cordis
  3. ArterioSclerosis, Bronchitis, Angina Pectoris

A subsequent memorandum to the Army for claim of 2/7 by Mr J.G. Desborough of South Battersea for the issue of a death certificate was submitted dated 7th January 1946