England · Graves

Author dies of shock after accidentally falling on fire coals

July 16, 1953
Guildford, Surrey, England
Hilaire Belloc dies a few days after sustaining minor burns he received from attempting to place a log in the fire, fell, and briefly landed in the coals

Belloc was an author, activist, and historian. One of his books, Cautionary Tales for Children, included “Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion” and “Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.”

His death came just 11 days shy of his 83rd birthday, and came from shock rather than from the burns. He is buried next to his wife who died many years before him and whom he continued to mourn the rest of his life.

The stone inscription pointing the way to his grave reads:

Five yards to the east of this stone lies the body of

HILAIRE BELLOC

1870 1953

A member of the congregation of this church of Our Lady of Consolation 1905 1953 In whose memory this tower and spire was completed in 1964 In gratitude and recognition of his zealous profession of our Holy Faith in practice, writings and noble verse.

May it perpetuate the fulfilment of his own prophetic words ‘This is the Faith that I have held and hold, And this is that in which I mean to die.’

Some of Belloc’s work:


Matilda, Who told lies, and was Burned to Death


Franklin Hyde, Who caroused in the Dirt and was corrected by His Uncle


Rebecca, Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably

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