Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

John Holland BELLAMY (1893–1916)

Bellamy as a soldier

John Holland Bellamy

John Holland Bellamy was born at 12 Tackley Place in north Oxford on 5 July 1893 and baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 24 August.

He was the only child of Edward Holland Bellamy (born in Oxford in 1859 and privately baptised by St Giles's Church on 28 February) and Zoe Lucas (born in Oxford in 1868 and baptised at All Saints’ Church in the High Street on 30 August).

John’s father Edward, who was in turn the son of the bookbinder Edward Bellamy of St Giles’ Street, was the Clerk of the University Examination Schools, while his mother Zoe was the daughter of Harry Richardson Lucas, the Clerk in Oxford’s Diocesan Registry at 9 New Road. They were married at St Peter-le-Bailey Church in Oxford on 7 September 1892, and John was born ten months later.

At the time of the 1901 census John Holland Bellamy (7) was living at 123 Iffley Road with his father Edward (41), his mother Zoe (32), and their 19-year-old servant girl.

John attended Magdalen College School, and the photograph on the right shows him in its football team in 1908.

In October 1910, when he was 17, John was matriculated at the University of Oxford from The Queen’s College, and at the same time as studying for his degree was articled to the accountancy firm Wenn & Elsom at 55 Cornmarket Street.

At the time of the 1911 census John (17), described as an articled clerk to a chartered accountant, was living at 244 Iffley Road with his parents and their servant.

John was awarded a B.A. Pass Degree at a ceremony on 25 June 1914, and then resumed work with Wenn & Elsom’s accounting office. He continued to live with his parents, and in 1913 the family moved to 131 Lime Walk in All Saints’ parish. (This house at the southernmost end of Lime Walk was called “Netherbury” and was presumably named after the birthplace in Dorset of John’s grandmother, Caroline Holland. It was originally numbered 79.)

Poppy John Bellamy volunteered to serve very early in the First World War, and was accepted into the Royal Fusiliers on 15 September 1914. In November 1915 he was posted to join the British Expeditionary Force and served as a Lance Corporal in France and Belgium.

He undertook an Officers’ Training Course in August 1916, and then served as a Second Lieutenant in the 13th Battalion attached to 11th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment). He was wounded in the attack on Le Sars on 1 October 1916 and died aged 23 on 4 October 1916.

John Bellamy’s grave

Bellamy was buried near Albert in France at the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension (III. E. 21).

Left: Photograph of John Bellamy’s grave in Dernancourt, France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby) ]

SECOND LIEUTENANT
J. H. BELLAMY
NOTTS. & DERBY REGIMENT
4TH OCTOBER 1916 AGE 23

LET PRIDE DRY OUR TEARS,
AND MEMORY SWEETEN SORROW

 

 

Below: J. H. Bellamy’s name on the memorial in the cloisters of The Queen’s College, Oxford:

Bellamy’s name on the Queen’s roll of honour

In October 1916 a Memorial Service was held for him in the church, and his parents paid for a stained-glass window in his memory to be installed in All Saints' Church (below). It depicts St Alban, who is always shown as a young soldier holding a tall cross and a sword:

Bellamy window

The name “S. Alban” is written on the small central pane of stained glass underneath, and in the three panes below are the words “To the Glory of God and / in ever loving memory / of John Holland Bellamy.

Bellamy boardThere is a wooden board (above) fixed to the wall underneath the window giving more details. It reads:

THE ABOVE WINDOW IS ERECTED BY HIS
SORROWING PARENTS IN LOVING MEMORY OF
JOHN HOLLAND BELLAMY, B.A. OXON. 
2ND LIEUT. 11TH BATT. SHERWOOD FORESTERS 
WHO DIED ON OCT. 4TH 1916 OF WOUNDS
RECEIVED ON OCT 1ST 1916 IN THE ATTACK ON
LE SARS AND WAS BURIED IN DERNANCOURT 
CEMETERY, NR ALBERT, FRANCE. AGED 23 YRS.

This Memorial Window and Board are on the Database of the Imperial War Museums: 2 Lt J. H. Bellamy

After the war John Holland Bellamy's name was listed on the roll of honour of All Saints’ Church, Highfield and also on the Magdalen College School war memorial (below):

Memorial in Magdalen College School with John Bellamy’s name

Below: Mention of John Holland Bellamy on the base of the grave of his parents in Holy Trinity churchyard, Headington Quarry:

Bellamy grave in Holy Trinity churchyard
ALSO OF JOHN HOLLAND BELLAMY B.A. OXON.
2ND LT. NOTTS AND DERBY REGT ONLY CHILD OF THE ABOVE
WOUNDED IN ACTION ON OCT. 1, AND DIED OCT 4, 1916.
BURIED IN DERNANCOURT CEMETERY, SOMME, FRANCE.


All Saints' board

Postscript

In 1927 Bellamy’s parents sold Netherbury in Lime Walk and moved to to a smaller house on the south side of Old Road to the east of the Slade (the house, which is in Holy Trinity parish, was originally numbered 38 and is now No. 94).

His mother Zoe Bellamy died there on 14 March 1935 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 18 March, and his father's unmarried sister Louisa then came to live with him at 94 Old Road. Edward Holland Bellamy died there on 26 December 1943, and was buried with his wife on 20 December. His sister Louisa Bellamy remained at the house until her own death in 1953.


See also

Back to All Saints’ Church, Highfield roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website