Bell, Alexander Stewart

Bell, Alexander Stewart (Alex)

Chief Petty Officer

HMS Magic II, Royal Navy

Died in service on Tuesday 3 December 1918 (aged 24)

Buried:

Not known

Commemorated:

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church Bangor

BIOGRAPHY

Alexander Stewart Bell was born on 29 August 1894 in Holborn Street, Bangor and he was a son of Alexander and Martha Bell (nee Smiley, sometimes Smylie) who were married on 5 January 1892 in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.  Alexander Bell from Bangor was a son of Alexander Bell, deceased.  Martha Smiley from Bangor was a daughter of James Smiley, a weaver.

Alexander Bell Senior was a sailor and he and Martha had two children:

James Smylie (born 7 January 1893 in Gray’s Hill, Bangor)

Alexander Stewart (Alex, born 29 August 1894 in Holborn Street, Bangor)

The Bell family lived at 12 Sandy Row (now Queen’s Parade), Bangor

Alexander Stewart Bell was 12 when his father Alexander died of locomotor atrophy on 17 October 1906 (aged 56).  Alexander Bell Senior had been suffering from paralysis for some 12 years.

After she was widowed Alex’s mother Martha ran a boarding house in Abbey Street, Bangor before moving to 55 Railwayview Street, Bangor.

During the First World War Alex Bell served as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and he was 24 when he died in Bristol on 3 December 1918.

His ship, Magic II (originally Magic), was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff for the Belfast Steamship Company and during the First World War she served as a hospital ship.

When the Royal Navy launched a destroyer named HMS Magic in 1915 there was confusion and so, in 1916, the original Magic was renamed Magic II.

The ship was returned to the Belfast Steamship Company in 1919 by which time she had been renamed Classic.

Chief Petty Officer Alexander Stewart Bell is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum and in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church Bangor.