Henry Bellis was born in 1888 in Flint Mountain and baptised 22nd June, 1888 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the youngest of five children to Joseph Bellis and Mary (Thomas) and the brother of Private Samuel Bellis who also died in he war and has his own page here.
In the 1911 census he was living with his parents and brother Samuel at Bryn y Garreg, Flint Mountain but on enlistment in the Army he was living at Cae Coch, Kelsterton, Flint and was employed as an ironworker.
He enlisted in Flint on 1st March, 1915 joining at Llandudno the following day. He went absent without a pass on 12th November that year until reporting himself at 10:00 pm on the 15th (70 hours) and was forfeited three days pay. He was promoted to acting Lance Corporal (unpaid) on the 4th December, 1915. He was severely reprimanded by the Commanding Officer 18th January, 1916 for losing government property by neglect. He was admitted to hospital suffering from scabies on 2nd March, 1916 and rejoined his battalion on the 27th March. On enlistment he was 5 ft 5 in, weighed 10st 4 lb, chest 37 in, and his physical development was good.
He was first reported missing and then declared killed in action at the Battle of the Somme between the 9th and 12th July, 1916. He was unmarried.
His service record stated he was buried in Mametz Wood, France, 4½ miles East North East of Albert, but after the war his grave could not be located. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France on Pier and Face 4A (see below).
He is remembered on three war memorials – Flint Town (as K Bellis), St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint and the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor (as K Bellis).
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
The following is a letter sent to the War Office from Henry’s concerned brother William T Bellis.
Radcliffe House Greenfield Rd Colwyn Bay April 7/16
Would you kindly let me know the whereabouts of the undermentioned man.
Lcpl. H. Bellis 25526 C. Company 17th R.W.F.
I have not heard from him for a long time and recently sent a small parcel to him but it has been returned endorsed “hospital” Kindly let me know as soon as possible and oblige.
Yours faithfully Wm. T. Bellis
Henry’s father died in February 1894 aged 50, and buried in the Northop Road Cemetery, Flint. He was born in Northop and was employed as a chemical worker. His mother, who was born in Gellifor, Denbighshire, died in c1915, aged about 68, whilst residing at Brook House, Northop with her daughter and son-in-law.