William Richard Belcher
- Webb Street, Plaistow - November 24th 1882
- France and Flanders - 9 May 1915
- Killed in action
- Served in
- Warmington Street, Plaistow
William Richard's story
W Belsher is written on the bell.
William Belcher was the eldest of 14 children. He joined the Regular Army c.1899 as a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Essex Regiment and he fought with the Battalion in the Boer War. He also served in the 10th Mounted Infantry during that campaign, and fought in the Transvaal, Orange Free State and the Cape Colony.
We also know that he was part of the Essex Regiment contingent that took part in the funeral of Queen Victoria in February 1901.
He left the Army and then worked as a carman in Plaistow. Around 1907 he met Sarah McAllister, and although they did not marry they lived together with his parents in Warmington Street. They had two children, William (Bill) McAllister (who later changed his surname to Belcher) and Edward (Teddy) McAllister.
When war broke out William Belcher was recalled to the Colours and rejoined the Essex Regiment at Warley, near Brentwood, where he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment. He left England for France in December 1914. In April 1915 his Battalion fought in the Ypres Salient and in early May he was badly wounded. Evacuated to No.11 General Hospital at Boulogne, he died there of his wounds on May 9th 1915
He had a younger brother, Robert H Belcher, who was killed in action in France in 1918, serving with the London Regiment. He also lived in Warmington Street.
A third brother, Charles Thomas (Tom) Belcher, survived the war, where he served as a Sergeant with the 8th Battalion, London Regiment and received the Meritorious Service Medal for Good Conduct.
Many thanks for this information to Paul McAllister, his grandson, who says ” As an ex-soldier myself, I am proud to be one of his descendants and proud to see his name recorded for evermore”.
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