Wing Commander

Clive Beadon

A quite remarkable man

WING COMMANDER CLIVE BEADON, who died aged 77, won the DFC and was awarded the Burma Star as a bomber pilot. In 1944 Beadon flew a Liberator bomber at low level to attack Japanese supply trains on the Bangkok-Chiengmai railway. His aircraft was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire, its tail destroyed, its gunner killed and the rear portion set ablaze. Beadon struggled to maintain height and somehow succeeded in piloting the burning Liberator more than 1,000 miles back to base.

He was still on active service in South-East Asia when his DFC was gazetted in August 1945, and was therefore unable to attend an investiture at Buckingham Palace. He did, however, meet King George Vl on a later occasion. "It is to men like you," the King told him, 'that we owe our freedom."

Clive Vernon Beadon was born at Conoor near Poona, India, on April 15 1919. He was the elder son of Col. Vernon Beadon MC, of the 9th Gurkhas, and his wife Beryl Martin, a member of the banking family.

Beadon was educated at the Imperial Service College, Windsor, from where he won scholarship to Sandhurst - but he then elected, to his father's dismay, to go to the RAF College, Cranwell. Commissioned in 1939, Beadon began his career in No.101, a Blenheim training squadron.

After the outbreak of the war he moved No 502, a Whitley bomber squadron operating for Coastal Command from St. Eval in Cornwall. In September 1940 Beadon qualified as a flying instructor at the Central Flying School and spent the next two years training pilots. In September 1942 he was posted to No. 1 Middle East Ferry Control, and three months later moved on to India where he flew Wellington bombers with 215 Squadron against the Japanese in Burma.

He remained with 215 Squadron - becoming a flight commander - when, in the autumn of 1944, it converted to Liberators.

Beadon completed his overseas tour on the operations staff at HQ Air Command, South-East Asia. In 1946 he came home to HQ Bomber Command, and then went to the Air Ministry on the training staff.

But his exploits as a pilot were not over. In 1950 he was appointed commander of 297 Squadron. Three years later by now a Wing Commander he was sent by the British Government to Entebbe on a mission to bring home the Kabaka of Buganda, whose life was under threat. The Kabaka did not leave willingly, and was hustled on board with a coat over his head while Beadon kept the aircraft engines running.

Beadon served as British air attache in Caracas from 1954 to 1957' when he joined the administrative staff at RAF Colherne. In 1962 he went to the Ministry of Defence as a specialist on pilot conditions before being appointed assistant air attache in Paris. He retired from the RAF in 1966.

Subsequently, Beadon became an authority on dowsing and vice-president of the British Association of Dowsers. Over the years he succeeded - sometimes with only a map, a pendulum, and a small container of crude oil - in pinpointing large deposits of oil in Africa and South America.

To assist his work as a dowser, Beadon invented a pendulum and what he called a "spiral of tranquillity", both acrylic models containing small gemstones of his own selection. Their function, he explained, was "to correct the Earth's unbalanced energy lines within their immediate vicinity"; in addition, he claimed, they could cure insomnia.

In 1996 Beadon appeared on the ITV programme The Paranormal World of Paul McKenna and announced that he had located "between 50. and 75 million gallons of oil" in Windsor Great Park, south of the castle and north of Frogmore. But he held that the oil could only be extracted at the risk of polluting London's water-supply.

Beadon married first in 1947, Vicki Oliver, who died in 1964. He married secondly, in 1965, Mrs. Jane Whigham, the widow of George Hay Whigham, the father of Margaret Duchess of Argyle.

(Acknowledgements to the London Daily Telegraph)


John Behague writes: I met Clive Beadon on a ship taking me to England after a particularly tricky encounter with Basque separatists in Spain. We realised we had both been on the same coral island together - Cocos - towards the end of the war, but he was not on my squadron - 99. I found his remarks about dowsing fascinating and I wanted to hear more, but the sea was rough, and that was that. There is no doubt that he could genuinely locate oil by using no other instruments but a pendulum and a map, The power of the pendulum has been known for hundreds of years, and the art of dowsing is well documented. He assured me that he was running an extremely successful business by it, and I gave him full marks for his enterprise.

I saw him in action on the TV show where he appeared together with Uri Geller, and thought I would like to meet him again to exchange notes, but he died soon after. He was a splendid pilot and a brave and quite remarkable man.

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