27-year-old Private Thomas Bellamy, 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) died on 5th November 1918. Born in Lapworth in 1891, he was the youngest of the three sons of parents, George (a general labourer on the Umberslade Hall estate) and Mary Ann (née Jesson) who had married at Smethwick in 1885. His eldest brother, George, had died on 14th April 1918 and is buried at Umberslade Baptist Church.
By 1911, Thomas was 20 years old and was living at Hockley Heath with his parents and eldest brother, George. He was working as a wheelwright and his brother was a postman.
By the time Thomas was called up to the Army in November 1916, he was aged 25 and was working as an insurance agent. He married Mary Ellen Green at Ebenezer Chapel, Black Lake, West Bromwich on 6th March 1917. They don’t seem to have had any children.
Having initially been posted to the Corps of Dragoons, he was compulsorily transferred to the Royal Berkshire Regiment on 5th April 1918, then to the Yorkshire Regiment on 18th April 1918, before finally being transferred to the West Riding Regiment on 26th July 1918.
He was posted to France on 17th April 1918 and was killed in action. His widow was awarded a pension of 13/9 per week, with effect from 1st June 1919.
Private Thomas Bellamy is buried at Ruesnes Communal Cemetery, France, and is commemorated locally on war memorials at Hockley Heath village and St Thomas’s Church, Hockley Heath, as well as at Umberslade Baptish Chapel.
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