Edward Donald Bellew
|Edward Donald Bellew|
|Born||28 October 1882
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, India
|Died||1 February 1961
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
|Buried at||Hillside Cemetery, Kamloops|
|Allegiance|| United Kingdom
Canadian Expeditionary Force
|Years of service||1901 - 1903 (UK)
1914 - 1919 (Canada)
|Unit||Royal Irish Regiment
7th (1st British Columbia) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
|Battles/wars||First World War|
|Relations||Robert Bellew Adams VC (second cousin)|
Edward Donald Bellew, VC (28 October 1882, Bombay – 1 February 1961, Kamloops, British Columbia), Captain of the 7th Bn British Columbia Regiment, CEF was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Bellew began his education at Blundell's School, but left to attend Clifton College (1897–1900) to gain entry to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He joined the Royal Irish Regiment in 1901. He emigrated to Canada in 1903 and worked as a construction engineer. He enlisted in the British Columbia Regiment in September 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War.
He was 32 years old, and a lieutenant in the 7th (1st British Columbia) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
It was during the Second Battle of Ypres that a mass attack on the Canadian line developed on the morning of Saturday 24 April 1915 near Kerselaere, Belgium. The Canadians were suffering heavy casualties. The advance of the enemy was temporarily stayed by Lieutenant Bellew, the battalion machine-gun officer, who had two guns in action on high ground when the enemy's attack broke in full force. The reinforcements sent forward having been destroyed, and with the enemy less than 100 yards (91 m) away and no further assistance in sight, Lieutenant Bellew and a Sergeant Peerless decided to fight it out. The sergeant was killed and Lieutenant Bellew wounded, nevertheless, he maintained his fire until his ammunition failed, when he seized a rifle, smashed his machine-gun and, fighting to the last, was taken prisoner.
He remained a Prisoner of war (latterly in Holzminden prisoner-of-war camp) until 1919 and achieved the rank of Captain. Bellew subsequently returned to Canada and became a dredging inspector. He died in 1961 and is buried at Hillside Cemetery, Kamloops, British Columbia Edward Bellew's Victoria Cross is believed to have been stolen from the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto, between January 1975 and 22 July 1977. The VC has never been recovered. He was the second cousin of Robert Bellew Adams VC.
- Legion Magazine article on Edward Donald Bellew
- Edward Donald Bellew at Find a Grave
- List of Canadian Victoria Cross recipients
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Western Front 1915 (Peter F. Batchelor & Christopher Matson, 1999)
- "On the Battlefields", From the archives of "Maclean's Magazine", Edited by Michael Benedict, Penguin Canada, 2002 ISBN 0-14-301341-6, page 96