Other names: William John
Locations in this story: Tarrant Gunville, DorsetFrance & FlandersArras Memorial, Arras, FranceSt. James Street, ShaftesburySt. James' Church, ShaftesburySt. Peter's Church, ShaftesburyHoly Trinity Church, ShaftesburyShaftesbury, Dorset
Story: William John Belbin was born in 1897 at Tarrant Gunville, Dorset and was baptised in Blandford, Dorset, on 19th December, 1897. He was known as Willie on all Census records. He was the son of Harry Belbin, a tin smith, and Elizabeth Belbin (nee Tucker), who died in 1900 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 13 May 1900. At the time of the 1911 Census, William was he was living in the family home at 11 St. James Street, Shaftesbury and was still a school boy. Willie enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment (Service No. 15791). He served in France and Flanders and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was presumed killed in action on 26th May 1917 whilst serving with the 6th Battalion and his name appears on the Arras Memorial, Arras, Nord pas de Calais, France (Memorial Bay 6). He is remembered on the Park Walk and St. James’ war memorials. His name also appears on the Roll of Honour in St. James’ Church and on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury. Of his brothers', Charles Belbin also lost his life whereas Frederick Belbin and George Reginald Belbin both survived the conflict. William's father initially received a pension of 2s. 6d. (12p.) per week covering both William and Charles which was substantially increased at a later date.