Private 15872 Sampson Bellingham

 Bellingham Sampson 96 422x600

Died on Monday, 10th May 1915, age 17.
Buried in Grave B. Ded. 137. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Son of Sampson and Emmie Bellingham, of 4 House 11 Court, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395333/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Sampson Bellingham registered in December quarter 1897 in Dudley.

1901 Census
30 Ballfields, Tipton, Staffs.
Samson Bellingham (25, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Emmey (25, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Samson (3, born Tipton), David (4 months, born Tipton). Census gives his name as Samson as well as father.

1911 Census
9 Starmer Street, Cudworth, nr Barnsley, Yorks. (in 3 rooms)
Samson Bellingham (35, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Emmey (35, born Tipton), and their 7 surviving children of 8: Samson (13, born Tipton), David (10, born Tipton), Joseph (9, born Tipton), John (7, born Tipton), James (5, born Tipton), Emmey (4, born Tipton), and Maria (2, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Sampson Bellingham enlisted with the 6th (Territorial) Battalion, South Staffs on 11th November 1914. Sampson was undergoing training in Kent when he contracted pneumonia and died on 10th May 1915 at Dunsdale Manor Red Cross Hospital. Dunsdale Manor, in Westerham near Sevenoaks, had belonged to Norman Watney of the brewing family until his death in 1911, it had been empty until it was established as a war hospital in late 1914.

Sampson's body was returned to Tipton and he was buried with semi-military honours in Tipton Cemetery. At the time of his death he was still only 17 years of age, and so had falsified his age to enlist early. Sampson never served abroad so was not entitled to any service medals.

After Sampson’s death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/19/9d (1 pounds, 19 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his father, Sampson, in November 1919. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in November 1919.

Action resulting in his death

Sampson never served abroad with the 1/6th South Staffs as he died during training in Kent.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 22nd May 1915
On Sunday last the body of Private Samuel Bellingham, of the 6th South Staffordshire Regiment (Territorials), who died of pneumonia while training in Kent was interred in Tipton Cemetery with semi-military honours. The deceased enlisted on November 11th last, his real age being only seventeen. His parents reside in Horseley Heath, and as the funeral started from the house, a large crowd assembled. Owing to the exigencies of the military situation, there could be no gun carriage or firing party. Sergeant Kelly, of Tipton, managed to obtain the services of the Excelsior band, and six Staffordshire soldiers from Lichfield Barracks were sent over to act as bearers with two buglers and a sergeant. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, and there were a large number of wreaths, including one from the officers of the Regiment, and one from the deceased's comrades. A service was held in the Primitive Methodist Centenary Chapel, Horseley Heath, which was conducted by Mr J. Fordham.

The procession from the deceased's house included members of the Tipton Parish Church Adult School and the deceased's old school fellows. Mr Samuel Fox presided at the organ, and as the opening voluntary played "The vital spark." The National Anthem was sung and after the lesson, Mr Fordham gave an impressively delivered funeral oration, touching upon the deceased's patriotism, pointing out that with praise and thankfulness in their hearts, they realised that in defence of all that they held dear, the deceased and others had been willing to give their lives equally as well as those who had fallen on the field of battle. The large congregation rendered the hymn "When the roll is called up yonder," and "Sun of my soul," accompanied by the Excelsior band. The service concluded with the "Dead March" on the organ. Both to the chapel and on the way to the cemetery, the band preceded the procession playing the inspiring yet solemn strains of the "Dead March".

There was a very large crowd of persons at the cemetery gates, but it was deemed advisable to keep out the general public other than those in the funeral procession. Mr Fordham said the final few sentences over the grave, the buglers sounded "The Last Post," and the hymn "Even me" was played by the band. Councillor Joseph Howells, J.P., C.C., was among those present.