44069 Private Herbert Sidney Bellamy, 10th Battalion, Essex Regiment
Born on 16th July 1899 in Hawkley, Hampshire
Died on 2nd October 1982 in Exmouth, Devon
Herbert Sidney Bellamy, known as Sydney or Sidney, was born in Hawkley, Hampshire, the eldest child of Herbert Bellamy and Nellie née Mitson.
His sister Jessie Goodenough Bellamy was born on 23rd March 1901 and his brother Herbert James Molsher Bellamy on 14th May 1903.
In the 1901 Census, the family lived in Pococks Lane, Hawkley, Hampshire, where his father was a Domestic Coachman. By 21st April 1903, they had moved to Little Gaddesden. When his brother Herbert James was baptised at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden on 7th June that year, the family’s address was 2 Little Gaddesden.
On the afternoon of 21st April 1903, Sidney Bellamy was admitted to Little Gaddesden School as an Infant aged 3 years 9 months. However, the Log Book entry notes: “His mother did not bring him in time to have his attendance marked this afternoon“. He left Little Gaddesden School on 18th July 1913, when he was 14.
Electoral Register entries for Sidney’s father show that, by 1905, the family lived in “The Park, Ringshall, Great Berkhampstead”. In the 1911 Census, their address is recorded only as “Little Gaddesden”. However, from its position in the records and the addresses of nearby residents, it is believed to be 42/43 Ashridge Park, now part of Faerie Hollow. Herbert (Senior) was a Domestic Gardener; Sidney, aged 11 and Jessie, aged 10, were at School but 7 year old Herbert had no occupation shown.
The Little Gaddesden Scout Diary shows that S Bellamy aged 13 and H Bellamy aged 9 joined the Scouts on 2nd April 1913. Sidney joined the Lion Patrol, Patrol Leader Frank (Henry F.) Johnson and his younger brother Herbert the Wolf Patrol, Patrol Leader Francis (Frank) Whitman. The Scouts met at the Armoury, at 27 Little Gaddesden, the home of their Scout Master, Harry Temple. Miss Bridget Talbot was their President and Mr Humphrey Talbot their Treasurer.
An entry in the Little Gaddesden School Log Book for 3rd July 1913 notes that 7 Boys had gone to the Boy Scouts Meeting at Birmingham, the headmaster adding ruefully “I believe they will be away the remainder of the week“. Sidney Bellamy, Philip Collier and Arthur Pinnock were among the boys named. Other (unnamed) boys had gone haymaking. “These things stop the work of the School considerably.”
Although Sidney would have been called up when he was 18, he could not have served overseas before April 1918. An extension to the 1916 Military Service Act then permitted overseas service for men aged 18½, rather than 19, as long as they had received at least 6 months’ training. The Spring 1919 Absent Voters’ List confirms that Sidney served as a Private in the 10th Battalion, Essex Regiment, Service Number 44069. He served overseas, for which he was awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. However, his Service Record has not survived so no further details are known.
The original, pre-Second World War, wording on the left hand panel of the Little Gaddesden War Memorial on the village green read:
This memorial is erected in honour of the one hundred and thirty six men who went from the villages of Little Gaddesden, Hudnall and Ringshall and served in the war of 1914 = 1918. The names of those who gave their lives for their country are cut on the stones here. The names of those who returned to England are preserved in the Church.
However, the Church Roll of Honour lists only 119 men; one of those omitted is Sidney Bellamy, possibly because he did not serve overseas until April 1918 or later. His name has been added to the 2018 Centenary Revision of the Roll of Honour.
In the Spring 1919 Electoral Register, Sidney’s parents lived at Cromer End, where he was an Absent Voter. Sidney has not been traced in Electoral Registers during the 1920s but, from 1922, his parents lived in Pinner, Middlesex.
There is no evidence that Sidney married; in 1930, he and his sister Jessie were back living with their parents at ‘The Bungalow’, Barrow Point Lane, Pinner, Middlesex. In 1931, they moved to ‘Haslemere’, Northwood Road, Pinner and in September 1939, their address was recorded as ‘Haslemere’, Rickmansworth Road, Harrow. This is thought to be the same house as in 1931; some nearby properties also have the same house names as previously. Sidney was a Printer’s Assistant and his sister Jessie a Dressmaker. Their widowed mother had domestic duties.
Herbert Sidney Bellamy died aged 83 on 2nd October 1982. His address then was 11 Cranford Avenue, Exmouth, Devon.
4. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
5. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906 & 1906 – 1934
7. Little Gaddesden Scout Diary 1912 – 1922, HALS, Hertford, Acc 3131
8. 1918-21 Absent Voters’ Lists Parliamentary County of Hertford, Hemel Hempstead Division, Little Gaddesden
11. Leonhardt, John (ed), 2002, A Century Remembered – a celebration of the Millennium in Little Gaddesden, Rural Heritage Society of Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Ashridge
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson