WILLIAM BELCH (1850 - 1912)
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William was born in 1850, at Bausley Shropshire,
The 8th child of Richard and Margaret Belch.
He was christened on the 28th of June 1850
at Alberbury, Shropshire.

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When William was 10 years old he worked as a live-in Carters boy, along with his mother who was working as a Charwoman .
He was married to Mary Evans on the 8th April 1874 at Haigh Parish Church, Wigan, Lancs, (witnesses David Charles & Annie Leonard).
He was a Coal Miner & Tunneller, and Undertook tunnelling at Bickershaw Colliery, Leigh.
Although he was Illiterate, he signed his name on his marriage certificate.
He employed Irishmen, and kept a gun for protection of cash used to pay ‘subs’.
He left £488.17.10d in his will.
He died 15th May 1912 in Leigh, Lancs and was buried 18th May 1912, (plot 34 C G30 Leigh Cemetery).
William and Mary had a son:-

William Henry Belch

born 25th December 1874 in Leyland Mill, Haigh, Lancs. On the 24th December 1895 at Parish Church, Golborne, Lancs, he was married to Margaret Ann Blackmore, born 15th January 1876 at 105 Ladies Lane, Hindley, Lancs, daughter of George Blackmore & Elizabeth Crooks. (Marriage witnesses were John Yates & Margaret Elizabeth Belch). He was a Coal Miner, Fireman & Contractor and lived in 1901 at Hamblet St, Leigh. He took his family to Durham looking for work in late 1916 but was serving in 5th Manchester's in 1915. Apparently well read and played violin and piano. He played his violin in the pubs. He caught a severe chill and died from pneumonia within a week on the 12th February 1919, at 210 Plank Lane, Leigh, Lancs, having walked back to Leigh after watching a rugby match at Wigan. He was buried on the 14th February 1919 at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34).
Margaret was a stout lady in later life always wearing a full apron and sat alongside the fire range. She had a hearty laugh and enjoyed her food. When visiting her it was like going to pay your respects to royalty. When dressed for outside she wore a heavy dark coat with a dead fox fur round her shoulders. A big woman for her height she always seemed to puff and pant and used smelling salts.
She could be very stern and believed in children being seen and not heard but was a very kind person and loved by her grandchildren.
She was also a proud woman ashamed of the state she was reduced to when husband William died. The family was desperately short of money and though everyone knew she wouldn't ask for `tick` at the local shop. She would send one of the children to ask for a loaf which cost a few coppers and say that she only had a pound note. The shopkeeper would always say he couldn't give change for a pound note and she could pay on Friday. Honour intact! She died on the 16th February 1951, at 15 Brackley St, Leigh, Lancs, cause of death given as Heart Failure, and was buried on the 21st February 1951 with her husband at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34).

William and Margaret had the following children:-

  Mary Elizabeth Belch born 1896 in Leigh, Lancs. Died 11th January 1898.
  Olive Belch born 23rd July 1898 in Leigh, Lancs. Died 1990. She was married in 1921 to William Heggerty. Olive and William were the licensees for many years of 'The Red Cat' at Hindley Green and the 'Volunteer Inn' at Leigh. They had a daughter Irene and a son Bill.
  Mary Belch born 1900 in Leigh, Lancs. She was a Cotton Mill worker & very capable seamstress & cook. She died 20th December 1959 at Brackley St, Leigh, Lancs, and was buried 24th December 1959 with her parents at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34). Cause of death: Coronary Thrombosis & Chronic Bronchitis, she also had Bisimosis, the cotton workers disease.
  William Blackmore Belch born 12th April 1902 in Leigh, Lancs.
  George Belch born 1904 in Leigh, Lancs. He was a Coal Miner (Tally man). He was married to May Rogers and most of their time was spent in Abram where she came from. He was addicted to Scotts Emulsion which he swore kept him healthy. Died 1980 at Golborne, Lancs.
  John Henry Belch born 11th November 1906 in Hamblett St Leigh, Lancs. Died 22nd December 1906 at Leigh, Lancs. He was buried 28th December 1906 at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34).
  Gertrude Emily Belch born 1909 in Leigh, Lancs. Died February 1912 in Leigh, Lancs. She was buried 24th February 1912 at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34).
  Margaret Belch born 20th December 1911 in Leigh, Lancs. She was married to Frank Massey
  Jinny Belch born 8th April 1915 in Leigh, Lancs. Died 2003 in Ashton Under Lyne, Greater Manchester. She was a Seamstress and was married to Samuel Richardson. She was always paranoid about her age and died aged 88yrs keeping it a secret till the end. Her and husband Sam were a devoted couple, he always protected her and they celebrated 60 yrs of marriage.
  Richard Belch born 3rd June 1917 in Durham. He was a qualified Confectioner with the CWS and a Coal Miner. He was turned down for the RN at the outbreak of WW2 and was forced to go into the Army and was graded A1. He only served just over a year during which time he went AWOL. He was discharged from a convalescent hospital in Weston Super Mare as being unfit for active duty. In 1947 in Leigh, he was married to Bertha Nuttall.
A teetotaller before the war he would stand outside pubs waiting for his mates. After his spell in the army he was troubled with drink problems all the rest of his life. He died an alcoholic in June 1982 in Bolton. He was buried 21st June 1982 at Tyldesley Cemetery.
  Horace Frederick Henry Belch born 1st September 1919 in Leigh, Lancs. Served aboard HMS Valient & HMS Malaya in WW2. He was the hero of his nephew whom he regaled as a boy with stories of shipwrecks and his 'pirate' adventures against the Japanese. He was a Co-op Manager and Storeman, and was the proverbial `Jack the Lad`; no woman was safe from his advances and he could charm the birds from the trees. He married at Leigh in 1969 when well into his fifties to Annie Mort, a reputedly comfortably off widow. (He got more than he bargained for apparently ...) Died 31st March 1977 in Leigh, Lancs, cause of death: Heart Attack. He was buried at Leigh Cemetery (plot 34 E G34).
The above information was kindly sent to us by Sheila Belch. Her husband Bill
was the great grandson of William Belch (born 1850)
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