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William was born on the 12th April 1902 in Leigh, Lancs.
The 4th child of William and Margaret Belch.
He was a Shot Firer and Coalminer and lived at Crankwood Rd, Leigh.
He acted as father of the family when his father died aged just 46 years old, though he himself was only 16 years old.
He was adored by his sisters.
As a young man he was a fighter and drinker but gave this up as a condition of marrying.

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On the 20th April 1935 at Plank Lane Methodist Church, Leigh, he was married to Elizabeth Ann Collier (born 31st December 1912 at Liveseys Court, Leigh, Lancs, daughter of Charles Collier and Margaret Lawless) (Witnesses - George Collier & Mary Belch).
Elizabeth was a Machine Tenter in a Brass Foundry.
William was a very shy man who loved children and was easily moved to tears. Tough and stern on the outside.
He was awarded the Royal Humane Society Certificate and a gold watch for rescuing a young lady from drowning. The young lady had thrown herself in the canal after a row with her fiancee they did however marry later. He met up with the husband years later and when he asked after the well being of the young lady the husband replied "tha` should `ave let`er dreyn".
He worked at Bickershaw Colliery for 51yrs.
William and Elizabeth lived at Crankwood Road, Leigh and had two children:-
William Henry Blackmore Belch born 9th November 1939 at Firs Maternity Home, Leigh, Lancs. On the 17th November 1962 at Plank Lane Methodist, Leigh, he was married to Sheila Belshaw, born 1941 at Leigh, Lancs, (daughter of Stanley Belshaw and Doris Clarke). William died of Leukemia on the 24th November 2006 at The Hospice, Weston-Super-Mare.
Jack Belch born 3rd September 1942 at Firs Maternity Home, Leigh, Lancs. he was a Joiner by trade and lived at Walmesley Rd, Leigh. He died on the 18th January 2003 in Leigh, Lancs.
William (born 1902) died 19th January 1991 at Astley Hospital Leigh, Cause of death: Brochopneumonia, Senile Dementia. He was cremated at Bolton, his ashes are in Leigh Cemetery. Elizabeth died 29th June 1993 in a Nursing Home at Firs Lane, Leigh, Lancs.
The following poem was written about William by his niece.
Neaw ah weren't born in th'owd days
Ah don't know what they were like
but ah've often heard mi mam say
If tha didn't laugh tha'd skrike
But mi mam still likes to reminis
An' she very often will
An' when she does it's ten to one
She'll talk about eawr Bill
At thirteen he'd been sent downt' pit
A bob or two to earn
At that age younguns of today
Are sent to skoo to learn
But times were 'ard when he were young
Eight childer and no dad
So Bill became like t'fathyer
Though he were just a lad
Ah bet he 'ad his 'ands full
Cos all t'lot of 'em were gam
An 'awlus up ter summat
Accordin' to me mam
But he must 'ave done a gradely job
Cos all t'family turned out well
An' they've come a long way from Plank Lane
An' t'stories ah've heard tell
Mi' mam thinks such a lot of 'im
An he's her hero still
When a bonny chap comes on t'tv
It's-" In't like eawr Bill"
An' though ah 'av to hide a smile
Ah never disagree
'Cos ah've got memories of mi' own
An he's special too to me.
The above information was kindly sent to us by Sheila Belch. Her husband Bill
was William Henry Blackmore Belch.
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