Couple light a candle for Ypres victim

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SANDRA AND Alan Bellenie will light a candle and turn off the lights this evening in memory of Mr Bellenie’s grandfather, Raphael Bellenie, 25, a Royal Engineer who was killed at Ypres in May 15, leaving a widow, Lily May, 20, and a son, aged 23 months.

Mrs Bellenie, 70, of Beeston in Leeds, said: “I tried to imagine how his young wife must have felt when the news came through about her husband’s death and wondered how she coped with a young toddler, whose father wouldn’t be home to celebrate his second birthday, or see him grow up.”

Raphael Bellenie’s name is inscribed on the Menin Gate among thousands of others.

“We are going to light a candle and give a thought to all those who were killed or injured in the First World War. We’ll also raise a glass to remember Alan’s granddad and think about the futility of war and the knock-on effect that any war has on families.”

Mrs Bellenie added: “The latest addition to the family, Ralph, was born five weeks ago. When he’s old enough to understand, he will be told all about his Great Great Grandad Raphael Bellenie who was killed and his Grandad Raphael (Ralph) who was 23 months old at the time.”