WWI Snapshot: Hiram Van Bellamy 1895-1973

NC WWI Service Card

According to his WWI Draft Registration, Hiram Van Bellamy was born in Supply, Brunswick County, NC. His registration shows he was working at a sawmill in Southport, NC, when he registered for the draft.

Hiram’s brother Jasper Bellamy also served in WWI.

Hiram was ordered to report for duty on July 15, 1918. He served with the 811th Pioneer Infantry, serving overseas from October 20, 1918, to July 31, 1919. He was honorably discharged on August 5, 1919. He returned to Southport where he raised a family with his wife. He appeared to remain in Southport for the rest of his life.

Hiram Van Bellamy passed away on October 31, 1973, at J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport at age 77. He was laid to rest in John N. Smith Cemetery in Southport, Brunswick County, NC. The exact location of his gravesite is unknown.

He was preceded in death by his two sons, Ellis Bellamy and Clarence Hiram Bellamy, both WWII veterans. Ellis died of tuberculosis while serving in WWII; Clarence died in 1962. As a tribute to their father, shown below are the two news stories about the death of Ellis during WWII and the obituary for Clarence.

Local Boy Dies in Texas Hospital
Pvt. Ellis Bellamy, 20 years old son of Van and Lue Delphia Bellamy, highly respected colored people in Southport, died in the Brooks general army hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, November 13th. Tuberculosis was the immediate cause.

The body in its flag draped casket was shipped here, arriving on the 18th. Burial was held Sunday afternoon at two o’clock and was largely attended by both white and colored.

The young man graduated from the Brunswick County Training School with the class of 1941. He entered the armed service on February 27, 1943, and was on his way to becoming a fine soldier when the fatal illness set in.
Source “Local Boy Dies in Texas Hospital.” The State Port Pilot [Southport, NC], 24 Nov. 1943, p. 4

He was a Serviceman
Ellis Bellamy, 20 year old soldier whose home was at Southport, died in an army camp in Texas last week. He was a negro, was stricken with a fatal illness and died without ever having been sent to the front.

But, during that illness every resource of the army was given in an effort to make him well again. He was cared for until the last and when he died the brotherhood of the army did not end there. His body was sent home in a steel casket, draped with the flag he had served.

An undertaker, the family and friends prepared to bury the body in their own way. They had their funeral services at their church and following this a great cortege wended its way to a nearby cemetery.

There they found the Mayor of the town, the Commander and Vice-Commander of the American Legion, an army Lieutenant with a bugler and a squad of six white soldiers, waiting to join in the last tribute. The dead serviceman, regardless of his color, was given a serviceman’s last due.
Source “He was a Serviceman.” The State Port Pilot [Southport, NC], 1 Dec. 1943, p. 2

Clarence H. Bellamy
Clarence H. Bellamy, 43, of 601 Fairfield St., passed away Friday night in a local hospital. A native of Southport, N.C., he attended Brunswick County Training High School and graduated from Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, Pa. as an embalmer and specialist in derma surgery. He made an extensive study of bacteriology at the Univ. of Arkansas and was a graduate of Carver Business School. He served an apprenticeship with the Davidson Funeral Home and was associated with Longs Mortuary Service until his death.

Mr. Bellamy was president of Long’s Mutual Burial Association and secretary – treasurer of Long’s Mortuary Service. A veteran of World War II he served with the Medical Dept. of U.S. Army, spending 28 months overseas in the capacities of surgical technician and first aid instructor.

He was a member of Rock Rest Lodge No. 609 AF&AM and of Lamda Zeda Nu fraternity; also the Henry Lawrence Branch of McCrory YMCA, the NAACP, and secretary of Mecklenburg County Veterans’ Organization. A member of Greenville Tabernacle AME Zion Church, he was a steward and member of the Cathedral choir, serving faithfully in all capacities.

Survivors include his wife, Queen C. Bellamy; a daughter, Denise L. Bellamy; father, Mr. Hiram Van Bellamy of Southport; two sisters, Mrs. Evelyn Hewitt and Mrs. Loudelphia Rogers, both of Southport; five uncles; a nephew; seven aunts; and a niece.

Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday from the Greenville Tabernacle AME Zion Church with the Rev. M. R. Cuthbertson, the pastor, officiating. He will be assisted by Dr. J.W. Smith and the Rev. F.M. Allen. Interment in York Memorial Park.

Flower bearers are Mrs. Hortense Johnson, Mrs. Marizetta Kerry, Mrs. Carrie Hamer, Mrs. Willie Powell, Mrs. Claudia McFaden, Mrs. Gwendolyn Cunningham, Mrs. Dorothy Steele, Mrs. Ruth Johnson, Mrs. Vinie Watkins, Mrs. Shirley Kennedy, Mrs. Esther Carter, Mrs. Shirley Manigo, Mrs. Eddie Long, Mrs. Constance Caldwell, Mrs. Sadie English, Miss Gladys Walker, Mrs. Perry Davis and Mrs. Vernell Partlow.

Active pallbearers are local morticians and funeral directors. Honorary pallbearers are Mr. Perry Davis, Mr. Joe Swain, Mr. T.M. Martin, Mr. R.L. Floyd, Mr. Robert Carter, Mr. Robert Johnson, Mr. Joseph Belton, Mr. George Moreland, Mr. Isaac Heard, Mr. Alvin Kennedy, Mr. Israel Garrison, Mr. Kenneth Powell, Mr. Herman L. Martin, Mr. W.M. Harrison, Mr. Clyde Brown, Mr. Fancy English, Dr. Richard Hill and Mr. Luther Caldwell. The body will be placed in the church at 1 o’clock to lie in state until the hour of service.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, 7 May 1962, p. 9

To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Hiram Van Bellamy or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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