The AIF Project

Henry BELL

Regimental number191
Place of birthBendigo, Victoria
SchoolCorporate High School, Bendigo, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationInsurance agent
Address44 Hill Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation39
Height5' 8"
Weight178 lbs
Next of kinDorothy J M Bell, 44 Hill Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date8 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 July 1915
Place of enlistmentEaglehawk, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFromelles, France
Date of death19 July 1916
Age at death40
Age at death from cemetery records39
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner Panel No 1), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Jane Caruthers BELL; Wife: Dorothy I.M. BELL, 1208 Dana Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 10 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing in action, 19-20 July 1916.

Note on Form B103: 'Identification received from Germany. No particulars afforded except that soldier is deceased.'

Killed in action, 19 July 1916.

Red Cross File No 320906 has statement from 317 Pte M. O'SHANNASEY, 29th Bn, 3 November 1916: 'I saw him killed by a shell about the same place as [1390 Pte H.J.] Haslam - in a German trench at Fromelles as we were coming back to the 1st line.'

'The above name appeared on German death list dated 4-11-16.'

Second statement, 1104 Pte D. EDNEY, 29th Bn (patient, 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham), 29 December 1916: 'Bell was killed at Fleurbaix on the 19th July 1916. On the morning of the 20th or 21st July, in the daylight, I wnt outwith others to fetch men from No Man's Land under cover of mist. I brought Bell in, and placed his body with others. He was afterwards moved to the back for burial. I am not able to say how or where he was buried. I did not see him killed.'

Third statement, 223 Pte H.P. DOWNER, 29th Bn, 29 November 1917: 'I saw casualty killed in the second line of German trenches at Fleurbaix on the 20th July, 1916. Casualty was in the trench which we just occupied when he was destroyed by H.E. shell. The body was not buried.'

Commissioner, Australian Branch, British Red Cross Commissioner, London, wrote to wife, 12 December 1918: 'I extremely regret to inform you that your husband's name appears on the German death list, which means that they have procured some of his belongings, including disc, indicating that he was killed on their side of the trenches, which leaves, I regret to say, very little hope that he is a prisoner. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement, and while I know too well at the present time the loss of your husband seems irreconcileable with everything, yet, in the near future, knowledge that he died bravely fighting for the Empire, will be some compensation to you in your great loss.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BELL Henry
Red Cross file 320906

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