Harold Belfield, Private 37496, 134th Coy Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Died of wounds 11th April 1917 in Mesopotamia (Iraq), aged 18
Son of Lawrence and Sarah Ann Belfield, of 41 Brook St, Macclesfield.
The death of Private Belfield was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 20 April 1917:
FIGHTING IN MESOPOTAMIA: CORPORATION EMPLOYEE DIES OF WOUNDS – Mr and Mrs Lawrence Belfield, 41 Brook St, Macclesfield, received a telegram… [informing them] that their eldest son, Private Harold Belfield, a machine gunner attached to the Cheshire Regt, died on 11th inst from wounds received in action in Mesopotamia… on March 6th, an official message came… stating that Private Belfield was lying dangerously ill in the Second British Hospital in Amara… He had sustained a severe gunshot wound in the back, and his death… occurred in the hospital at Basra, to which place he had been removed…
Private Belfield’s father… is a turnkey for the Macclesfield Corporation, by whom he has been employed nearly all his life. Deceased was an apprentice fitter at the Corporation Gasworks and was a native of Macclesfield, receiving his education at St Paul’s Day School. He was connected with the Park Green United Methodist Church and Sunday School, and was a member of the “Helping Hand” Tent of Rechabites. Private Belfield enlisted in the local Territorials shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, being then 17 years of age, and after training… was transferred to the machine-gun corps. He passed his examinations first class and was drafted out to India last August, subsequently proceeding to Mesopotamia… At the time of his death he was 19 years of age…
Private Harold Belfield is buried in grave ref. XIII. F. 7. of the Amara War Cemetery, Iraq. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Harold Belfield, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Harold Belfield is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Church Street West Methodist Chapel war memorials, and on Park Green United Methodist Church roll of honour.