Bellis, Thomas

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Peter Redfern Metcalfe

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Flint Town

Name / Enw: Bellis, Thomas

Regiment/Catrawd: 11th (Service) Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private No 267730

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Doiran (Colonial Hill) Military Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Plot III, Row E, Grave 20

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Greece

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: British War Medal and Victory Medal

Date of Death: 18th September 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in action 18th September 1918 in Greece

Employed as a silkworker. He was a brother to Corporal John Bellis who also died in the war and has his own page here.

Thomas Bellis was born 12th February, 1898 in Oakenholt and baptised 13th March, 1898 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the fourth of twelve children to Peter Bellis (papermaker) and Catherine Anne (Cooper).

Thomas resided at Leadbrook Cottage, Oakenholt and was unmarried.

Service Record:- Enlisted in Flint, 6th June, 1916, with the 4th Reserve Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, No 5607, and posted to a Home base (it is not known when he transferred to the 11th (Service) Battalion RWF; admitted to the Military Hospital, Oswestry, 5th June, 1917, suffering from influenza, and transferred to Southport Convalescent Hospital and Sea Bathing Infirmary, 24th September, 1917 to 27th October, 1917; embarked Southampton, 30th January, 1918; disembarked Greece, 11th February, 1918; arrived Salonica, 12th February, 1918; signed to No 2 Base Depot, Salonica, 15th February, 1918. On enlistment he was 5ft 5ins tall, weighed 109lbs, chest 34ins and his physical development was good; he had carious teeth, stammered slightly, had slight flat feet and forcible heart action.

He was killed in action at Salonica 18th Septembe,r 1918 and buried in Doiran (Colonial Hill) Military Cemetery, Greece (Plot III, Row E, Grave 20).

He is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town, St David’s Parish Church, Oakenholt and also his parent’s headstone at Northop Road Cemetery, Flint (Grave 2, Line 40, South Side).

He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

The following is a letter Private Thomas Bellis wrote to his sister and brother.

27/2/18

Dear Sist & Bro

Just these few lines to let you know that I am quite alright hoping all at home are the same. I have not much news to tell you but as long as you get a letter from me to know how I am going on it will be all right. Tell Dad I have been speaking to George Robinson who worked at Coed-On Farm Pentre. He new me as soon as I spoke to him he was as about Joe. he wishes to be remember to Joe & Dad. Address. Pte T. Bellis 267730. 11th Batt. R.W.Fus. B.S.E.Force. Salonica. We are out of the line and in a rest camp for a bit.

I must now conclued (sic) with best of love to all

From Your

Loving Bro

Tom 

XXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

And a post card to his sister Gertrude and her husband Joe Eccles.

Mrs G. Eccles

9 Gardeners Row

Pentre

Nr Flint

North Wales

Dear Joe & Gerty

Just this P.C. to let you know I received your letter & tobacco quite safe and thanking you for same. Tell your mother I also got is letter & papers. Shall write to you in the week

good by for now

Uncle Tom

Private Bellis’s father Peter wrote to the Infantry Records Office, Shrewsbury, enquiring about his son.

Mr P Bellis

Leadbrook Cottage

Oakenholt

Flint

1st June 1919

Dear Sir

Kindly permit me through this medium to ask you a favour if you have still heard any further news of my son 267730 Pte Thos Bellis D Coy 11th Batt RWF who was serving in Salonica. The last we heard about him that he was “killed in action” (see envelope enclosed) yet we have nothing definite from the War Council. Could you kindly favour me with No 25621 Pte J E Williams D Coy (11th Batt RWF private address as I firmly believe he knows something respecting my son and I should like to get into communication with him.

Thank you in anticipation.

I remain your most obedient servant.

P Bellis

He received a reply just days later.

The Riding School,

4th June 1919.

Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 2/6/19, re Private 267730 Thomas Bellis, I regret not being able to give you any definite information about your son who was reported missing 6-10-18. As soon as anything definite is received, it shall be transmitted to you at once.

As regards Private 25621 J E Williams, I beg to say the War Office regulations do not permit of the private address of soldiers being given, but, if you wish to communicate with the man, you should direct your letter to him C/O the Officer in Charge of Records No 2, The Riding School, Shrewsbury, when it will be forwarded to his last known address.

The man’s Regiment and Regimental number should be stated on the envelope.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

Major for Lt Colonel.

Officer i/c No 2 Infantry Records.

No 4 District.

Eight months later Mr Bellis received another letter from the Records Office.

The Riding School,

12th February 1920.

Sir

With reference to my Notification dated the 12th November 1919, of the presumed death of your son, No 267730 Private Thomas Bellis, 11th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, I beg to inform you a further report has been received from the War Office stating that his Grave has been located in Colonial Hill Military Cemetery, No 2 – Greece.

I am to express the regret of the Army Council that it must now be definitely accepted that he was Killed in Action, and his name will shortly be published in the Official Casualty List.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

B Gundle

Lieu for Lt Colonel.

Officer i/c No 2 Infantry Records.

No 4 District.

IN MEMORIUM

In loving 22nd birthday remembrance.

We have sought for him in silence,

We have sought for him in rest,

But we do still hope that he will return

To the ones that loved him best.

War’s bitter cost.

Never forgotten by his dear Mother, Sisters and Brothers,

Leadbrook Cottage, Oakenholt, Flint.

(Flintshire Observer 12th February, 1920)