Michael Becke was the younger brother of John Becke (K 1936-1940; killed in action 26th June 1944 – see individual entry), and younger son of Sir John and Lady Becke (nee Jones, daughter of Edwyn Jones) of Over Tabley, Cheshire and of Hartford Hall, Northwich. He followed his elder brother, not only at Winchester and at Oxford, but also in taking History as his special subject. After three terms at Oriel College, Oxford, he joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as a Second Lieutenant. In August 1944 he was attached as a Lieutenant to 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, the motorised battalion of 11th Armoured Division, joining F Company. He was killed during shelling at Brockhungenvorst, north of Venlo in Holland on 30th November 1944. The Battalion’s War Diary records: “November 30th 1944, Swolgen: Brockhungenvorst heavily shelled in the evening. Lieutenant M Becke killed. One other rank wounded”.
According to the Wykehamist “War Service Record and Roll of Honour”, “his loss was great. It was difficult to think of the one brother without the other, for their characters as well as their careers were on parallel lines: the same high standard of conduct, the readiness to take responsibility, the air of almost old world courtesy and distinction, were the mark of each, and they moved through life making, by their own simplicity of outlook, the world an easier and happier place for others”.
He lies in Venray War Cemetery, near Limburg, Netherlands in Grave V.E.5.
- Surname: Becke
- Forenames or initials: Michael
- House: K
- Years in School: 1937-1941
- Rank: Lieutenant
- Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
- Date of Birth: 25th October 1923
- Date of Death: 30th November 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Venray Cemetary: Grave V.E.5