Service No:
Date of Death:
Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade
1st Machine Gun Company
Grave Reference
XVI. A. 21-23.

Additional Information:

Son of Robert and Mary Bellas of Westmorland, England.

Date of Birth August 1, 1886

Chauffeur by trade. Unmarried when he enlisted. Enlisted and passed fit 24 August 1914 at Toronto, aged 28, 5 feet 8 inches, girth 39 inches, complexion fair, eyes blue, hair light brown; religious denomination Church of England. 

In the 1901 census he was a Farm Servant (for Matthew Tinkler, aged 15, born King's Meaburn, resident Low Lane, Ravenstonedale.

National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: 

Read Sgt. Robt. Bellas Attestation Papers National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: 

RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 627 - 45

Read about the commemoration of Sg. Robt. Bellas at the Canadian Great War Project: 45507

Read about Sgt. Robert Bellas commemorated at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Sgt. Robert Bellas is commemorated on Page 199 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance.

This page is displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on the following days: May 6th

Sergeant Robert Bellas, Service Number 45507,lst Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade.

Born lst August 1885 in Kings Meaburn. His birth was registered in the Jul/Aug/Sep period of 1885. Son of Robert and Mary J Bellas.

1891 England Census -

The Bellas family were living in Newby at the time of the census.

Newby West Ward

Robert Bellas   40 General Labourer   b. 1851 Little Strickland

Mary J   wife 39               b. 1852  Plumpton

Thomas J Young 14 stepson     b.  1877 Penrith

Robert Bellas 5 son     b. 1885 Kings Meaburn

George C 3 son     b  1888 Newby

Joseph 5 mths son     b  1890 Newby

1901 Census -

Robert Bellas aged 15 was working as a farm servant for Matthew Tinkler in Low Lane,Ravenstonedale, Westmorland.                                                     He belonged to the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry(Territorials Cavalry) for 4 years prior to1911

Not on 1911 census: parents in Morland Glenton Hilltop with rest of family plus Margaret ,7, b1894 Newby and Sarah Agnes 4 , b1897 Newby 

30 March 1911 -Robert, aged 25, sailed from Liverpool on the SS Lake Champlain bound for St John, New Brunswick, Canada. Also listed on the ship's passenger list is  G Bellas aged 20. Both give their occupations as farming.

1911 Census of Canada -

Robert is unmarried and living in Wallbridge Township, Byng Inlet, Parry Sound, Northern Ontario, Canada and is working as a labourer in a lumber yard.

24 August 1914 -

Robert signed up in Toronto to join the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, he was unmarried, gave his occupation as 'chauffeur', and

His next of kin as Mr R Bellas, Morland, Westmorland, England. He also gave his date of birth as 1st August 1886 making himself a year younger than he was. He was 5'8" tall with light brown hair and blue eyes, and his religion

was Church of England.

30 October l917 killed in action aged 31 whilst serving with the !st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade, rank of Sergeant, service number 45507.

His service record states- 'This soldier was killed by a fragment from an enemy high explosive shell, while taking part in the attack at Passchendale'.

He is commemorated by the commonwealth War Graves Commission at Cement House Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, and his grave reference is XVI.A.21-23

Military records say he was Canadian. Awarded Victory Medal and British War Medal. Additional Information given:Son of Robert and Mary Bellas of Westmorland, England

Cumberland and Westmorland Herald has photo 1st Dec 1917 of Sergeant Bellas of Morland and this report Nov 24th

Mr Robert Bellas ,Glenton, Morland has received official word from the War office that his eldest son Serg Robert Bellas was killed on 30th October(1917) Sergeant Bellas who was formerly a groom for Colonel Markham Morland House emigrated to Canada in March 1911. He enlisted in the first week of the war in Princess Patricia's Light infantry but being a motorman he was transferred to the Auto-Machine Gun Battery where he quickly rose to the rank of sergeant. He came over to England in October 1914 and after training here a while went to France with the first batch of Canadians and he has been through some hard fighting. Sergeant Bellas who was 32 years of age and unmarried served for 5 years with the W+C yeomanry before going abroad.

(Cumberland News Report 27/04/18 p.3c-Gunner Canadians Wounded ? His brother)

                    Plot No: XVI. A. 21-23 (Jt.)

Photo courtesy of Eric Rei

Read the War Diaries for the Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade
1st Machine Gun Company on 30th October 1917