CWG: Stoker Petty Officer Christian Belsey

Stoker Petty Officer Christian Belsey

Christian Belsey was born on 12th February 1884 in the village of Preston, Kent. He was one of fourteen children to Joseph and Jane Belsey. Joseph was a farm labourer, and Christian followed suit on leaving school.

He wanted bigger and better things, however, and after his older brother Charles had sought out a life in the Royal Navy, he followed suit. Christian enlisted on 28th June 1904; his service records show that he was 6ft (1.83m) tall, had brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion.

Stoker 2nd Class Belsey was based out of HMS Pembroke, the Royal aval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, and this is where he returned to in between voyages. His first posting was on board the destroyer HMS Acheron, on board which he spent six months.

Over the twelve years of his initial service he was assigned to six different ships, rising through the ranks to Stoker 1st Class (in 1906), Leading Stoker (1911) and Stoker Petty Officer (1912).

When war broke out in August 1914, Christian was back in Chatham; he was soon assigned to HMS Laertes, a destroyer based out of Harwich, which patrolled the North Sea. She was involved in the attempt to head off the German attack on Yarmouth and Lowestoft in April 1916, during which, two of Christian’s colleagues, Stoker Ernest Clarke and Stoker Petty Officer Stephen Pritchard, were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for their bravery under fire.

After three years on board Laertes, Christian was transferred to HMS Redgauntlet. He served on board for eighteen months until, in October 1918, he fell ill.

Admitted to a hospital in Samford, near Ipswich, Suffolk, Stoker Petty Officer Belsey was suffering from pneumonia. Sadly, the lung condition was to get the better of him, and he passed away on 25th October 1918, at the age of 34 years old,

Christian Belsey was brought back to Kent for burial. He was laid to rest in Faversham Borough Cemetery.


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