Gell, George Leslie
No. 4200582, 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
Died as a result of a road accident on Thursday 21 November 1940 (aged 24)
Kingsway New Cemetery, Nottinghamshire, England (Section A. Row L. Grave 1254)
Kingsway War Memorial, Nottinghamshire
In some reports his surname is spelt Gill.
George Leslie Gell’s birth was registered in the fourth quarter of 1916 in Basford, Nottinghamshire and he was a son of Leslie Victor Horsley Gell and Amelia Gell (nee Baker) of East Kirkby, Nottinghamshire. Their marriage was registered in the fourth quarter of 1915 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Leslie Victor Horsley Gell was a son of Ernest and Sarah Gell and, as a 14-year old boy in 1911, Leslie Victor Horsley Gell had worked as a pony driver and gang lad in a coal pit.
Fusilier George Leslie Gell’s death was reported in the 23 November 1940 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle (in the County Down Spectator report his surname was spelt Gill). Fusilier Gell (No. 4200582) died as a result of a head-on collision between his military motorcycle and a saloon motor car which occurred on the main road on the Comber side of Lisbane Post Office at 6.25 pm on Friday 15 November 1940. Both of Fusilier Gell’s arms and both of his legs were broken in the accident and one of his legs was so badly shattered that it had to be amputated in Ards District Hospital.
Fusilier Gell was travelling towards Comber and the motor car was travelling towards Killinchy. The car was being driven by Lieutenant Colonel Grove-Raines who lived at Ardview, Killinchy. Dr B.R. Henry of Comber was called to the scene of the accident and he dressed Fusilier Gell’s injuries. Later, at Ards District Hospital, Constable Hamill of the Royal Ulster Constabulary donated a pint of blood for Fusilier Gell to have a blood transfusion. Afterwards Constable Hamill commented that ‘the giving of a quantity of blood does not interfere with the donor’s life’. The newspaper reported that ‘after a short rest and a cigarette, Constable Hamill returned to the barracks and the following morning he was back on duty as though nothing out of the ordinary had taken place’.
Initially Fusilier Gell’s condition seemed to be improving. Then, at 12.45 am on Thursday 21 November, his condition began to deteriorate, and he subsequently died at 3.15 am. The cause of death was ‘pulmonary embolism following multiple injuries’. An open verdict was returned at the inquest, which was held that evening by Dr R.A. Wallace, Coroner for the district. The Revd R. Emrys Evans BA, Chaplain to the deceased’s Battalion, and the Revd W.T. Dennison, Minister of Newtownards Methodist Church, conducted a brief service at the hospital before Fusilier Gell’s remains were removed to RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire for interment in Kingsway New Cemetery, Nottinghamshire. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
OF ONE WE LOVED
BUT COULD NOT SAVE
Fusilier George Leslie Gell (No. 4200582) was 24 when he died and he is commemorated on Kingsway War Memorial, Nottinghamshire.
Amelia Gell was 67 when she died, and she was buried on 28 January 1961 beside her son.
Leslie Victor Horsley Gell remarried and his marriage to Annie E. Dyson was registered in the first quarter of 1962 in Basford, Nottinghamshire.
Leslie Victor Horsley Gell was 91 when he died, and he was buried on 23 December 1987 in the same grave as his son.
At the time of writing, Fusilier Gell’s CWGC headstone is the only headstone on the grave.