Educated at Blackfriars, Laxton in Northamptonshire Bill was called up on his 18th birthday and conducted his general military training at Bovington Camp before undertaking training as an officer at Sandhurst in the winter of 1942/3.

Maj LG Bellamy, MC, receiving his M.C. from Field Marshal Montgomery.
Maj LG Bellamy, MC

From there he joined the 8th Hussars in Egypt just for a short time before the Regiment redeployed back to England to prepare for the invasion.

He landed on “Gold” Beach on 9th June as an Echelon troop commander, providing ammunition, fuel and fitter support to the Squadrons and their Cromwell tanks. A few days later he took over command of his first troop, 3rd Troop ‘A’ Squadron, during the battle for Villers Bocage, where he found there was much to learn!

He fought through Operations Goodwood and Bluecoat, and the capture of Mount Pincon, the break out from France and into Belgium.

He was awarded an immediate MC (later received personally from Field Marshal Montgomery) at Dornhoek near St Joost, Holland, in October 1944.

For the last months of the war including the break into Germany and the entry into Hamburg Bill was second in command of recce troop, then commanded by Tim Pierson.

Bill had kept copious notes of his troop leading experience throughout and published them much later in life in 2005 “Troop Leader: a Tank Commander’s story”. His narrative is fresh and vivid, whilst his accounts of tank fighting are graphic and compelling. There are affectionate sketches of those characters that always exist in our regiments and which would not be complete without them – then and now!

Following the war, Bill served on the staff of HQ 7 Armd Bde before being Adjutant of 8H and then the Northamptonshire Yeomanry until his forced retirement in 1954 through sickness (the results of dysentery in Egypt and subsequent bouts of jaundice).

After leaving the Army he became a successful businessman.

He continued to take a deep interest in military affairs for the rest of his life and gave up much time to the cause of education and awareness of the young about events, particularly in the Second World War.

He was instrumental in creating a local museum about the Northant’s Yeomanry. In 1950 he married Ann Burbury, who predeceased him.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline
  3. North-West Europe 1944-45 timeline
  4. Gallantry Award: Citation and Immediate Award of the Military Cross: Lt LG Bellamy – 8H