Bell, John (No. 5775)

Bell, John


No. 5775, 10th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Monday 6 August 1917 (aged 20)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 40)

Holywood and District War Memorial

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


John Bell was born on 18 January 1897 in Craigavad and he was a son of David and Jane Bell (nee Malcolm) who were married on 6 July 1883 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  David Bell from Ballydavey was a son of James Bell, a labourer.  Jane Malcolm from Ballydavey was a daughter of James Malcolm, a labourer.

The Bell family lived in Craigavad (1901), Trevor Street, Holywood (1911) and Hill Street, Holywood (1917).

David Bell worked as a gardener and domestic servant and he and Jane had nine children:

Sarah (born 5 February 1886 in Craigavad)

Ann Eliza (Annie, born 25 March 1888 in Ballyrobert; died of pertussis 26 March 1907 at 4 Dundee Street, Belfast)

William James (born 23 January 1891 in Ballyrobert; died)

Agnes (born 20 August 1893 in Ballydavey)

John (born 18 January 1897 in Craigavad)

Violet (born 31 July 1902 in Craigavad)

Edith (born 14 December 1905 in Craigavad; died of hydrocephalus 25 December 1908 in Craigowan Lodge, Craigavad)

Alexander (born around 1906/1907)

Annie (born around 1909/1910)

Their father, David Bell, died of tuberculosis 10 December 1911 (aged 59) at 7 Trevor Street, Holywood.

After leaving school John Bell worked as a message boy.

John Bell enlisted in Belfast and served with the 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Rifleman John Bell was 20 when he was killed in action on 6 August 1917.  The 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was holding the line prior to the attack at Langemarck on 16 August 1917.

At that time John’s widowed mother was living at 4 Hill Street, Holywood.

Rifleman John Bell has no know grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium; on Holywood and District War Memorial and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour.