Charles Henry Bellamy

Charles Henry Bellamy was born in Grimsby on 9 June 1890. He had been a volunteer at the original YMCA in Heneage Road.

Charles Henry Bellamy in the 1891 Census. He was living at 188 Cleethorpe Road, the site of which is now a petrol station.

Charles Henry Bellamy in the 1901 Census. By this time the family was living at 446 and 448 Cleethorpe Road. The properties which stood where the Anchorage Residential Home now stands were demolished in 1984 for road widening.

Charles Henry Bellamy was educated at St John’s Boys School in Grimsby and King Edward VI Grammar School in Louth.

1911 Census. The Bellamys were still living at 448 Cleethorpe Road.

A member of the local YMCA council, he was one of the first 100 to answer Lord Kitchener’s call to arms in 1915 and was commissioned as a Captain in the Lincolnshire Regiment. Bellamy encouraged other volunteers and residents from the YMCA to enlist with the Army – many joining the Grimsby Chums, one of the Pals battalions which, like so many others across Britain, saw friends, neighbours, workmates and family members sign-up and serve together.

The Grimsby Chums suffered heavy losses on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, compounded by further losses in unsuccessful attacks on the second and third day. When they were finally withdrawn and the roll was called, 15 Officers and 487 men (out of 1000) were killed, missing or wounded. Bellamy, leading men from the Lincolnshire Regiment, was killed in action on 23 July 1916. He was buried at the St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, alongside 26 other members of his regiment.

In January 1916, before leaving for France, Bellamy had written a letter home containing his Last Will and Testament, in which he bequeathed £50 to the YMCA in Grimsby in the event of his death. The YMCA put his donation to good use – though perhaps not exactly as Bellamy had intended – by paying off a lump sum of the mortgage on the Heneage Road site. His gift was well-timed, helping to secure the Association’s future.