Wars Last Goodbyes
Individual Record

Evesham Cemetery

Inscription

In loving memory

Of a dear husband

Donald James Belben

Accidentally killed 4 July 1944

Aged 21 years


Time passes on but memories remain

Place of Inscription

Evesham Cemetery

Worcestershire

Who does this memorial relate to?

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Donald James

Belben

1922

Pontypridd, Glamorganshire, Wales

4th July 1944

Died from injuries received when an American troop truck hit his taxi near Bretforton and he later died in Evesham cottage hospital

21

Evesham Cemetery, Evesham, Worcestershire

Second World War

Civilian

Civilian

Royal Navy

An inquest was held into the death of Donald where it was discovered that the American Army commanders had already held their own investigation and found the American soldier driving the lorry was not guilty and that it was an accident. The Coroner found that the truck was going too fast around a blind bend, possibly on the wrong side, and declared that the death was due to misadventure caused by the American vehicle going too fast and without due care and attention. The Coroner was heavily critical of the entire American enquiry and behaviour. He had a real issue with what he saw was the demise of the rule of law. Donald had served in the Royal Navy at the beginning of the war - he had been serving with the navy since he was fifteen. He had been on board the HMS Royal Oak which was torpoedoed by a U-Boat at Scapa Flow in 1939 with the loss of over 800 men. Donald was taken off before this event suffering with rheumatism which led to his discharge.

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Baylis

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Second World War

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Civilian

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