John William Alfred Belchamber

TF/201121, Private, 4th Sussex Regiment.

Missing In Action on the 26th March 1917.

On the 26th March 1917 the Battalion were at Deir El Belah. They were given an order to move to positions near El Shelluf Ridge where they were to attack Turkish forces that were entrenched there. There was a heavy mist covering the desert which did not lift until 8.15am, allowing the assaulting troops to see the Turkish positions. The assault began at 1.00pm with a Turkish trench being quickly taken and the attacking troops began to move up a nearby ridge. However, Turkish fire was very heavy and the Battalion attempted to hold it’s position but this could not be maintained and they were forced back. Soon the Battalion was relieved and were able to re-organise themselves.

The action had resulted in the loss of  4 Officers and 83 Other Ranks either killed or missing, with many more wounded.

John has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

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