Bell, Herbert Alexander (No. 932)

Bell, Herbert Alexander (Bertie)


No. 932, 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Australian Imperial Force (AIF)

Killed in action on Wednesday 9 August 1916 (aged 21)


Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Grave B. 75)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour

Newtownards and District War Memorial


Herbert Alexander Bell was born on 3 March 1895 in the townland of Trummery, Magheramesk, Lisburn and he was a son of John Turtle Bell (born in County Cavan) and Emma Jane Bell (nee Patton; born in the townland of Ballywatticock, Newtownards) who were married on 18 August 1892 in First Holywood Presbyterian Church.  John Turtle Bell, a bank cashier from County Cavan was a son of Alexander Bell, a farmer.  Emma Jane Patton from Newtownards was a daughter of Andrew Patton, a farmer.

John Turtle Bell and Emma Jane Bell (nee Patton) had at least four children:

Elsie (born 13 December 1892 in Seabright, Rostrevor)

Herbert Alexander (born 3 March 1895 in Trummery, Magheramesk, Lisburn)

Edith Mabel (born 18 October 1896 in Trummery, Magheramesk, Lisburn)

Mary Evaleen (born 6 April 1899 in Carnalbanagh West, Moira)

John Bell worked as a cashier in the Newtownards branch of the Ulster Bank and then in Rostrevor before resigning from the Bank to become a farmer near Lisburn and then a merchant in Moira, Co Down.  After that the Bell family moved to Western Australia where they lived at 2 Oswald Street, Victoria Park and later in Keane Street, Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Bertie Bell worked as a warehouseman.

He enlisted in Perth on 11 January 1915 and it was noted in his attestation papers that he had a small scar on his forehead and that he was 5 feet 6½ inches tall with a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.

In July 1915 he arrived in Gallipoli and in September 1915 was admitted to hospital with influenza.

He arrived in Alexandria on Christmas Day 1915 and on 9 August 1916 Trooper Bertie Bell was killed in action during the Hassanein engagement in the Suez Canal Zone.

Shortly before he was killed he came upon a wounded comrade.  He told his comrade to lie still and said that he would come back and bring him in – but he was killed before he could do so.

Trooper Bell was buried on the battlefield and a Chaplain, the Rev Collick, was in attendance.

The position of his grave was carefully recorded and later his body was exhumed and re-interred in Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Trooper Bertie Bell’s personal effects were posted to his father and they amounted to one scarf, one military book, one dictionary, a piece of stone, buttons, badges, numerals, a piece of shell, ammunition pouch, letters, photos, post cards, newspaper cuttings, testament, plume, notebook and one field service pocket book.

Trooper Herbert Alexander Bell (No. 932) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.