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William Henry Belpitt (1860–1912)

William Belpitt, n.d.

William Belpitt, n.d.

William Henry Belpitt (1860-1912) served in the United States Navy. By 7 October 7 1884 he was captain of the Afterguard on the USS Monocacy. On that morning, while Monocacy was at Fuzhou, China, he jumped overboard and rescued a Chinese man whose canoe had capsized. For that action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States military's highest decoration. The citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Monocacy, Foochow, China, 7 October 1884. Jumping overboard from that vessel on the morning of this date, Belpitt sustained, until picked up, a Chinaman who had been thrown into the water by the capsizing of a canoe.

Belpitt later returned to Australia. He married Minnie Gould on 20 January 1889; they had one child.

Belpitt died on 29 November 1912 at Rookwood, New South Wales, and was buried at Rookwood Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria on 2 December 1912.

Additional Resources

  • reminisces, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 1908, p 12

Citation details

'Belpitt, William Henry (1860–1912)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

William Belpitt, n.d.

William Belpitt, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Belpit, William Henry
  • Bulpitt, William Henry
  • Bulpit, William Henry

3 May, 1860
Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


29 November, 1912 (aged 52)
Granville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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