Joseph Bellis was born in Bagillt, Flintshire during 1895. His parents were John and Priscilla Bellis and they lived at Old Engine, Bagillt, Flintshire.
The 1911 census tells us that the head of the family was John Bellis aged 56, who was employed as a Farm Labourer. His wife Priscilla Bellis aged 56 and their four children – Joseph Bellis aged 16, who was employed as an apprentice Spinner at the Welsh Flannel Mill, Greenfield Road, Holywell, Flintshire. Edwin Bellis aged 13, William Bellis aged 11 and Ethel Bellis aged 8 years.
On 1 December 1915 Joseph’s brother Edwin enlisted with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as Private No. 312815 Edwin Bellis. He survived the war.
Following Joseph’s death on 14 February 1917, his Commanding Officer sent a letter to Mr & Mrs Bellis which reads – “I regret that it is my very unwelcome duty to inform you that your dear son was killed in action whilst in the performance of his duties. It will undoubtedly be a great source of consolation for you to know that the death was instantaneous and he suffered no pain. He was held in the highest esteem by all whom he came in contact and both officers and men admired his great willingness and cheerfulness with which he performed his duty. On behalf of his Officers, Company and his very many friends he had in the Battalion, I wish to send you, his proud parents and relatives, the very sincerest condolences”.
County Herald dated 23 February 1917.
We are sorry to have to chronicle the second death of a local soldier this week. The news was to hand early this week that Private Joseph Bellis, son of Mr John Bellis of Coleshill had died from wounds at the front. Several of the personal friends of the deceased were included in the same Battalion and it is stated that Private E Williams of the Bedol was present when the remains of Bellis were reverently interred in their last resting place. The sympathies of the public go out to the parents of the deceased in their bereavement.
On 23 December 1918 a payment of £5.0s 3d was made by the War Office to Priscilla Bellis, this being monies owed to her son Joseph. On 20 November 1919, a further payment which was recorded as a War Gratuity of £9.0s.0d was also made to her.
Joseph Bellis is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, North Wales.
There is no Flintshire Roll of Honour Card for him at the County Archives Office, Hawarden. Details of his medals were obtained from Ancestry.co.uk