Name: Beresford Karr Horan
DoB: January 14 1892
Regt: 30th Wellington Rifles, Canadian Expeditionary Force
DoD: December 24 1915
Academic Career: CGS 1899, Royal Naval College, Marlborough College
Beresford Karr Horan was the elder son of the Rev Charles Trevor Horan and his wife Edith. Both families had an army and church tradition, which included service overseas, Beresford’s father was born in India and was Chaplain of All Saint’s, Cairo when Beresford died. The Horan family also had a tradition of attending Cambridge University. Beresford’s family moved around with his father’s career. Beresford was born in Cambridge; he had one brother and one sister, and by the age of nine he was already away at boarding school in Norfolk.
He attended the Grammar School for just one term before moving on firstly to The Royal Naval College, Osborne, Isle of Wight, where his uncle the Rev. Frederick Seymour Horan was chaplain and secondly to Marlborough College (1905-07). However, in 1909 aged just seventeen, he defied family tradition and emigrated to Canada to farm. He was still in Ontario in 1911.
Beresford is unusual amongst those on the memorial as he died before reaching Europe so he never entered the field of battle.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps June 14 1913, where he served for nearly two years, and was in the band, based mainly in California. In Feb 1915 he is listed as a deserter from the 4th Regiment in the US Marines. We have been unable to find out why he deserted, however we do know that some soldiers deserted the American Army to join up elsewhere as they wished to fight and the USA did not enter WW1 until 1917.
Within six months Beresford had joined the 30th Wellington Rifles as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). He was given the rank of 2ndLieutenant, however he was listed as a deserter on Nov 17 1915, and died on Christmas Eve 1915. His army record gives no reason or explanation. The Carlisle Memorial Register and his obituary in the Cumberland News both state that he “died from pneumonia following diphtheria contracted while training with the CEF”. However he was in disgrace. The Canadian Army refused him a war grave as he was a deserter but he did have a magnificent gravestone where he was laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London, Ontario.
30th Wellington Rifles, CEF
On enlistment he was 6ft 1/2″ tall, with blue eyes and brown hair. He described himself as a bank clerk and was honest about having been in the US Marine Corps.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Mount Pleasant Cemetery Archives on line
c) Marlborough College (Dr. T.E. Rogers, Archivist)
d) Ancestry web site US Marine Corps Muster Rolls; Cambridge Alumni; Probate Records
e) Kingston opc
1891 : RG12 1282
1901 : RG13 4866; RG13 1825 65 3
1911 : RG14 20955
1911 : East Kent, Ontario, Canada
g) Cumberland News 15/1/1916