Albert George Bellringer 1888-1918

Albert George Bellringer served in the Somerset Light Infantry.

WRC Memorial number 716, Inscription: 240550 Private AG Bellringer Somerset Light Infantry 5th December 1918 aged 30. You must have been special. God takes only the best. He held out his arms, and laid you to rest.

Born in Bridgwater in 1888, he was the son of Charles Bellringer (born c.1852) a sawyer in a timber yard in Eastover, and Sarah Holloway (born c.1853). In 1901, aged 11 he lived at the family home in 23 Monmouth Street. By 1911 he had moved out and now aged 22 and lived in 14 Quantock Terrace on the Bristol Road and had married Elizabeth Clarks the previous year. His occupation was noted as a sawyer, and he had resumably entered his father's firm. By this the young couple had had their first son, Albert William Clarks Bellringer.

Little is currently known about his war career or his untimely death. He was a private in the 5th battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. He had enlisted on 8th June 1914 (Territorial Army) and was discharged on 5th July 1918 as being medically unfit for service. He was awarded the Silver War Badge. He died in Cotford Asylum, a victim of shell shock, on 5 December 1918. In 1918 his wife resided in 3 the Court, Monmouth Street. In 1920 she remarried to Jacob Earnest Hobbs.

Bridgwater Journal 3 June 1989

`Lost' grave honoured

A Bridgwater woman has seen an official headstone erected on her grandfather's "lost" grave after a two year search.

Mrs Jean Dommett and her husband, Terry, of Devonshire Street, began their quest in 1987.

Mrs Dommett knew her grandfather Albert  Bellringer had served with the Somerset Light Infantry in the First World War. He died in a Somerset hospital following service in India aged 29.

After sifting through old documents and files, the couple found Private Bellringer's grave plot number in Bridgwater's Wembdon Road cemetery. It was unmarked, but with the aid of a tape measure they were able to locate the exact spot where he was buried. But the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said they could not authorise a headstone because not enough information was known.

Mrs Dommett then appealed direct to the Duke of Kent as president of the Commission. Orders were given for an official war-pattern headstone to be made and flown over from France. It now marks the grave and two medals due to Private Bellringer are also being sent to Mrs Dommett.

She said: 'There were times when I nearly gave up the search, but I'm glad I didn't and I feel that his country has now honoured his memory.'

Each of the war stories on our website have been updated in our book, Bridgwater and the First World War.