Henry James BELTON

BELTON, Henry James

Service Number: 2806
Enlisted: 14 June 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 45th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 1892
Home Town: Port Adelaide, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: 3 July 1958, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Rosewater Marist Brothers Port Adelaide Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

14 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2806, 10th Infantry Battalion
21 Sep 1915: Involvement Private, 2806, 10th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Star of England embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note: ''
21 Sep 1915: Embarked Private, 2806, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Adelaide
5 Apr 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 45th Infantry Battalion (WW1)

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Henry James Belton was born roughly around March 1892 in the suburb of Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia. He was the child of Mary Jane Belton, and it has not yet been identified if he has any siblings or who his father was. In his older years, he lived in South Australia and worked as a Labourer prior to his enlistment and he identified his religion as Church of England. Henry was 5 feet and 5 inches, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair.

At just 23 years old, single, with no children, Belton enlisted on the 14th of June 1915 in Keswick.S. Australia. 

Henry first embarked on the 21st of September 1915 with the 10th Battalion. The 10th Battalion was the first infantry unit raised for the AIF during the First World War and was recruited in South Australia. Henry James was rank PTE (Private, equalient to Sapper, Driver, Gunner, Tropper). This role was known as a general role, and their importance was to fight.

One year after he first embarked, Belton transferred to the 50th Battalion. The 50th Battalion was the ‘pup’ of the 10th Battalion, and they shared the same colours of purple and blue. Belton participated in travelling to 5 places whilst onboard with the 50th Battalion. Henry was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres on the 22nd of October 1917. This battle consisted of a series of limited and costly offensives and was undertaken in the most difficult of waterlogged conditions. It could be assumed Belton was wounded in this battle as he did not attend another battle until the 14th of May 1918. The 50th Battalion last major operation was the attack on Hindenburg on 18th September. Henry was then transferred from the 50th Battalion to the 45th on the 2nd of September 1918. 

 he 45th Battalion was formed by transferring 50% of experienced officers and men supplementing them with new reinforcements from Australia (mostly from NSW). He was discharged on the 18th of September 1919..

The soldiers were then sent back home on the 6 March 1919. Henry returned in Walkwickshire. Henry James Belton survived the war with the 45th Battalion and returned home to Australia on the 5th of April 1919.  Unfortunately, Belton passed away on July 3rd, 1958, however the cause of his death has yet to be identified

A letter was written from his later wife Mabel Belton who was applying for a war medallion on behalf of her husband. It was written on the 29th of March 1964, 6 years after Henry’s death and was sent from her address, 31 Bucknall Rd Glanville. This would be supposedly where Belton was living prior to his death. The letter indicates that he served aboard for 3 years and 247 days and served in the war for 4 years and 35 days.

Victory medal – The victory medal is a bronze medal that was awarded to those soldiers who received the star medal. These medals have their own colours which often have a symbolic significance as well as a figure of victory. He earned this award on the 4/6.

Star medal – The star medal is a bronze star with a red, white, and blue ribbon. It was issued to soldiers that were there at the very beginning of the war. He was awarded this 1914/15.

British medal – The British war medal was a silver medal awarded to the officers and men who entered an area of active fighting or served overseas. He received this award on the 4/6.