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Person Details
20 Jun 1892
Worksop Nottinghamshire
Arthur Beldham was the ninth child of William Edward and Eliza Beldham (née Somerfield). His father William Edward was born in Creswell, Derbyshire, in 1853 and his mother Eliza in Bloxwith, Staffordshire, in 1858. They were married at Sheffield Cathedral Church of SS Peter and Paul in May 1875 and had fourteen children who were born in Worksop. One child, Mary Ann, died in infancy (b/d 1894); the surviving children were: Henry birth registered 1876 (J/F/M), William Edward b. 1877, Ruth b. 1979, George b. 1881, Harriet birth registered 1884, Fred birth registered 1886 (J/F/M), Frank b. 1888, Robert Ernest b. 1890, Arthur b. 20 June 1892, Ada b. 1896, Jessie b. 1898, Oscar Wilfred b. 1900 and Alice b. 1903. With the exception of George and Alice for whom no baptismal record has been traced, the children were baptised at the Priory Church of St Mary & St Cuthbert, Worksop, Arthur on 6 July 1892. William, a joiner, and Eliza were living at 80 Westgate, Worksop, in 1881 and were still at the same address when their fifth son Frank was baptised in 1888, but by 1890 had moved to 87 Westgate where they were also recorded on the 1891 Census. The couple had moved to 6 Brook Street, Newcastle Avenue, by the time of Ada's birth in 1896 but Oscar's baptismal record gave their address as 4 Co-operative Brook Terrace. The 1901 Census recorded William and his family at 7 Co-operative Brook Terrace. Only nine of the 12 children were in the home on the night of the census: George a shoemaker, Harriet a general domestic servant, Fred a bricklayer's apprentice, Frank a grocer's errand boy, Robert and Arthur who were school age and Ada, Jessie and Oscar. The two eldest boys were married, Henry to Ada Mason in 1898 and William Edward to Lillian Watkinson in 1900, and the eldest daughter, Ruth, was in domestic service in Sheffield. The youngest child, Alice was born two years later. William and Eliza and eight of their children, George a shoe repairer, Harriet a nurse monthly, Frank and Robert who were coal miner fillers (below ground), Ada, Jessie, Oscar and Alice, were still living at 7 Co-operative Brook Terrace in 1911. Fred, a bricklayer, was still living in Worksop, a boarder in the household of William Burbidge and his family, while Arthur had joined the Royal Navy in 1909 and was serving in HMS Roxburgh although on the night of the census he was recorded as a visitor in the West Croydon home of James Langley and his family. A third sibling had married - Ruth in 1904. Robert Ernest, Arthur's older brother, married Emma Bird at Worksop St John in February 1912. Robert died in 1914, a few weeks before Arthur's death at Coronel. William and Eliza were still living on Co-operative Terrace when the CWGC record was compiled. William snr. died in 1923 and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Eliza was living at 50 Devonshire Street, Worksop, with her son George, a boot and shoe repairer, and her married son Oscar, an unemployed colliery worker, and his wife Minnie (née Cookson m. 1937). The records of two other members of the household remain closed but one may have been Oscar's son William (b. 1937).
Joined the Royal Navy in 1909.
01 Nov 1914
2870633 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
HMS Good Hope was Drake-class armoured cruiser laid down in 1899 and launched in 1901. At the time, the class was among the fastest ships built (23 knots). She was reduced to the Reserve Fleet in 1913 but recommissioned in 1914. HMS Good Hope became the flag ship of Rear Admiral Cradock of the South American Station during August 1914 (Flag Captain Captain Philip Francklin RN). She was sunk by gunfire on 1st Nov 1914 by the German armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau, off the Chilean coast during the Battle of Coronel. Arthur Beldham joined the Royal Navy at HMS Ganges as a Boy 2nd Class on 25 October 1909 and on his 18th birthday, 20 June 1910, signed a 12 year Continuous Service Engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Ganges, 25 October 1909-6 February 1910 (Boy 2nd Class); HMS Antrim, 7 February 1910-6 June 1910 (Boy 1st Class, 12 February 1910); HMS Roxburgh, 7 January 1910-15 May 1911 (Ordinary Seaman 20 June 1910, Able Seaman 10 February 1911); HMS Invincible 16 May 1911-23 December 1913; Victory, 24 December 1913-10 January 1914; HMS Excellent, 11 January 1914-16 August 1914; HMS Good Hope, 17 August 1914-1 November 1914. Service record annotated, ‘NP 2788/14. DD [Discharged Dead] 1 Nov. 1914. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilean Coast.’ HMS Good Hope was sunk with all hands, over 900 officers and men. Arthur's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. ............................................................................................ ACTION IN THE PACIFIC The global nature of the war was evidenced by the entry of Japan on the allied side in August 1914. The German base for its East Asiatic Squadron at Tsingtau on the Chinese mainland thus became untenable. The squadron, under the command of Vice–admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee with his flag in the Scharnhorst, headed for home via the Cape Horn route. Its strength was the quality of its ship, guns and well trained crews but its weakness was the need to obtain coal to fire the boilers. The British Admiralty sent an under strength and undertrained scratch force to intercept the German squadron under the command of the experienced and well respected Rear-admiral Sir Christopher Cradock with his flag on HMS Good Hope an aging (built in the pre Dreadnaught age in 1901) Drake Class armoured cruiser. Cradock, who had received many and often misleading signals from the Admiralty, engaged the German squadron off Cape Coronel, Chile on 1 November 1914 probably hoping to inflict sufficient damage to slow the Germans pending the arrival of a stronger British presence led by two modern big gun Dreadnaughts. It was a hopeless cause and the Good Hope went down with over 900 hands as a result of the German gunfire causing her to blow up. Amongst those lost in this terrible manner were three Worksop men. Arthur Beldham, Alfred Ernest Collier and Joseph Keight. The First Sea Lord, one Winston Churchill, nevertheless stated that ‘I cannot accept for the Admiralty any share in the responsibility ...’ The precursor to these events was the Royal Naval Review of 20 July 1914 at Spithead off the Isle of Wight comprising over 100 vessels including 56 battleships. Worksop naval reservists were called back to the fleet on 13 July and remained there after the review as the First Sea Lord, anticipating the outbreak of the war, decreed that the fleet should not demobilise. HMS Good Hope had been commissioned for the mobilisation with 90% of its officers and crew being taken from the reserve giving them no chance to undertake effective training before entering into action. Able Seaman 3.5870 ARTHUR BELDHAM was the 22 year old son of William and Eliza Beldham of 7 Brook Terrance off Newcastle Avenue who had brought up a family of 8 (sic) children. Arthur had signed up as a sailor before the war and was specially trained as a diver. This was a tragic time for Mr. & Mrs. Beldham as they had buried their son Robert, aged 24, only two weeks before hearing the news of Arthur’s death. Able Seaman 215083 ALFRED ERNEST COLLIER was the 30 year old son of David and Mary Collier. He had been brought up at 14, Lowtown Street with three brothers and two sisters. His father was a bricklayer’s labourer and Alfred had worked as a coal hewer at the pit before joining the Royal Navy. Mrs. Collier had lost her husband in January 1912 and was living with her daughter Mrs. Alice Clarke at 128, Carlton Road when she learnt of Alfred’s death. A report states that another son held a post as a chief gunnery instructor at Plymouth and that a further son David was serving with the Sherwood Foresters but he was soon to be discharged because of his bad eyesight. Mary Collier lived on until 1939. Able Seaman 198973 JOSEPH KEIGHT at age 37 was of somewhat advanced years to serve as an Able Seaman. He had been born in Birmingham in 1877 and then saw service in the Royal Navy including serving in the Mediterranean Sea aboard HMS Ramillies. After discharge from the navy and having married in 1907, he and his wife Winifred set up home in Collinghurst Manchester where Winifred gave birth to a son George Frederick in May 1909. Joseph worked as an assistant postman. Unfortunately Winifred died in the Spring of 1912 and Joseph and young George moved to Worksop to live with his sister Mrs A. Leyland at 6a, Cheapside with Joseph continuing to work for the Post Office until his recall. It is likely that George was brought up in the Leyland household after the death of his father Obviously none of the bodies of the dead were recovered for burial but the ship's company of HMS Good Hope are remembered by being named on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Sources. ‘CORONEL AND THE FALKLANDS’. Geoffrey Bennett Birlinn 2000. Worksop Guardian. UK Census Returns. Service Records. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Les Beldham Robert Ilett November 2014
Arthur's brother, Frank, a collier, attested on 5 September 1914 (13614, 9th (Service) Battalion Leicestershire Regiment) but was discharged 32 days later on 6 October 1914, 'not likely etc. para. 392 (iii) (c) King's Regulations.' The application for his discharge cited 'loss of left thumb,' an existing condition which was noted on the medical report when he attested. One of Arthur's nephew, Herbert Edward Mottershaw, the son of his youngest sister Alice and her husband, Herbert Mottishaw (m. 1922 Worksop, d. 1938 reg. Worksop), died in the Second World War. Herbert Edward (b. 1925) served in the RAF (VR) as a sergeant air gunner (1593482). He was one of the crew of a Lancaster III (JB726), 97 Squadron, who were killed on 14 January 1944 during a raid on Brunswick, Germany. One crew member was buried in Hanover War Cemetery but the other six members of the crew, including Herbert, are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial. Herbert is also commemorated on war memorials at Arskey All Saints, Yorkshire, where his mother and his sisters were living in 1939, and Bentley St Philip and St James, Yorkshire. CWGC additional information:- 'Son of William Edward and Eliza Beldham, of 107 (sic), Cokrop [Co-op] Terrace, Newcastle Avenue, Worksop, Notts.' Worksop Guardian, 13 November 1914 'Alfred Ernest Collier & F Beldam (sic). The news on Saturday of the sinking of the cruiser “Good Hope”, in an action off the Chilean coast was received in Worksop with especial regret, for two members of the crew are well known Worksop sailors. They are Alfred Ernest Collier (30), youngest son of Mrs Collier, of Carlton Road and F Beldam, youngest son of Mr R (sic) Beldam, of Newcastle Avenue. Sincere sympathy will be extended to the relatives concerned if, as is feared. Our sailors have gone down with the cruiser, which the Admiralty state, took fire but continued to fight until a serious explosion occurred and she foundered. Collier’s mother is a widow, her late husband having worked for the Duke of Newcastle for over 30 years. She has two more sons serving their King and country – Walter Henry Collier, who for 28 years has been chief gunnery instructor at Plymouth, and David Collier, who recently enlisted in the Notts & Derby regiment. “Of course”, she said to one of our reporters the other day, “my son has a perfect right to die for so noble and just cause as anyone else’s son but, at the same time, as a mother’s feelings are a mother’s feelings. I am sorry to loose him; he was a splendid fellow”. The loss, if he is dead, of Mr Beldam’s son, is also very painful, for another of his sons died only a fortnight ago. On enquiry yesterday, we were informed that no statement had been received from the Admiralty by the relatives concerned as to whether the sailors have been lost or otherwise. The crew of HMS Good Hope also included John Thomas Skinner (28), son of Mr T Skinner, President of the Shireoaks Miners Lodge who was in the Reserve and joined the ship in July. He was unmarried. Also on the same ship were Samuel Bond and Edward Ghent, of Stanfree, both being married men with children. Curiously enough, Bond had served on the Aboukir and the Hawke, both of which have already been sunk in action. Prior to joining his ship, Ghent worked at the Bulcroft colliery.'
Remembered on


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  • Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)
    Arthur Beldham - Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)