Captain, Connaught Rangers
Born: May 18th 1886
Died: June 7th 1917
Age at Death: 31
Died of wounds, Messines, France, June 7th 1917
Grave reference: III.C.275 Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord.
His headstone was inscribed, at the request of his mother:
carissimo animae meae vale' -
Farewell, my dear.
Son of Lieutentant Colonel Alfred John Belemore, Surgeon and Mrs Amelia A Belemore.
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by John Spence (Le. 1975-80).
Raymond Belemore was born in Norwich on 18th May 1886. He was the only son and eldest child of Lieutenant Alfred John Belemore, a surgeon who served for a time with the RAMC, and his wife Amelia.
The family moved to Brighton shortly after the children were born where they lived at 95 Montpellier Road.
Belemore’s profession after he left school is unknown but it is known that he married Dorothy Culler and they were resident at 38, Brunswick Terrace, Brighton, however there were no issue.
Soon after the outbreak of war Belemore received a Commission in the Connaught Rangers and served them, firstly with the 1st Battalion in Mesopotamia and latterly with the 6th Battalion on the Western Front, being ultimately promoted to Captain. During the 1930s an Australian Veteran’s magazine Reveille printed a number of articles by a Captain Tom Kelsey who served alongside Belemore in Mesopotamia before the battalion was transferred to the Western Front. The references in these articles to Belemore allow a picture to be built up of a larger than life character known ironically to his comrades as ‘Tiny’ who drank vast quantities of Rum and despite suffering from Asthma was, like so many officers, a heavy smoker. He was also very brave:
‘I watched “Tiny” Belemore bring up the company. How the deuce the man escaped being hit, I don’t know. He looked as big an elephant, and half the Turkish Army appeared to be shooting at him’.
After recuperating from a particularly bad bout of asthma Belemore was given command of a company in the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers which took part in the assault on the Messines Ridge on June 7th 1917. He was wounded and brought to the field hospital at Ballieul, where he died of his wounds the next day.
His grave is in the Ballieul communal Cemetery Extension, Ballieul, France.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15