Bell, Hugh

Bell, Hugh

Chief Officer

SS Cheldale (Newcastle-on-Tyne), Merchant Navy

Killed in a shipping accident on Saturday 17 February 1940 (aged 47)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial, London, England (Panel 27)

Family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Churchyard


Hugh Bell was born on 8 September 1892 in Cloughey, Co. Down and he was a son of William and Rachel Bell (nee Bailie).  William Bell from Ballyhalbert worked as a labourer and he and Rachel Bailie from Cloughey were married in Glastry Presbyterian Church on 8 March 1892.  Rachel Bailie worked as a seamstress and she was a daughter of Hugh Bailie who was a sailor.  William and Rachel Bell (nee Bailie) had two children:

Hugh (born 8 September 1892 in Cloughey)

James Andrew (born 26 April 1895 in Cloughey)

Hugh Bell was 5 feet 6½ inches tall with dark hair and blue eyes when he obtained his certificate of competency as First Mate on 1 February 1915.  During the Second World War he served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Cheldale.  This cargo ship was built in 1925 by John Priestman and Company Ltd., Southwick (Sunderland) and on 17 February 1940 she sank in the Indian Ocean 24 miles off the coast of Durban, South Africa following a collision with the motor vessel MV Greystone Castle.  Some 16 of the 35 SS Cheldale crew members were lost.

Chief Officer Hugh Bell was 47 years old when he died and he is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London and on the family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Churchyard:

Erected by William Bell in loving memory of

His wife Rachel Bell died on 18 April 1933

Also the above William Bell died 7 February 1942

Also his son Hugh Bell Master Mariner lost at sea 17 February 1940

Also his daughter-in-law May died 20 February 1949

Captain James A. Bell MBE died 30 May 1972

And his son William Bell MN died 31 January 1998