Topic: John Edward Bell (1889-1917)

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John Edward Bell was aged 27 when he was killed on the battlefield in Belgium during World War I (1914-1918). His brother, Alexander Law Bell, was also killed during the war. They were my second great uncle's - Debbie McCauley.

John Edward Bell (1889-1917)

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John Edward Bell was born in Turakina on 27 July 1889 (reg. 1889/8300). His parents were Edward and Mary Bell (nee Watt) who  married in Turakina on 19 May 1881. He had hazel eyes and brown hair.

He worked as a Bushman at Urenui in Taranaki and had scars on his left shoulder and left hand.

John enlisted at Urenui for World War I (1914-1918), his medical details being taken at Trentham on 30 December 1914. His pulse was found to be high, but the medical officer remarked that 'he came from the bush a fortnight ago and has been smoking heavily, taking a fair amount of liquor'.

He was a Gunner (Service No. 2/1132) with the Field Artillery, embarking along with his younger brother Alexander and the 4th Reinforcements from Wellington on 17 April 1915 aboard either the Willochra or Knight Templar or Waitomo for Suez, Egypt.

John was wounded in Dardanelles on 4 October 1915.

He was wounded again on the 28 February 1917 and admitted to hospital in France, being discharged from hospital on 10 April 1917.

He served at Egypt, Gallipoli, France and Belgium.

John was serving with the New Zealand Field Artillery, 5th Battery when he was killed in Belgium on 17 June 1917 (reg. 1918/56089).

He was buried at Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium (Ref: VI. B. 1.).

On 5 July 1917 the Feilding Star reported, 'Mrs Hugh McIntyre received the sad news yesterday that her nephew, Gunner John Edward Bell, who was well known in the Kimbolton district, was killed in action on June 17. He was 27 years of age, and left with an early reinforcement. His mother resides at Ngaruawahia'.

John Edward Bell (1889-1917): Headstone



Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Database (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Feilding Star (5 July 1917, p. 3).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

NZ War Graves project.


This article was archived at Perma CC in July 2016

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John Edward Bell (1889-1917)

Note:Service Number: 2/1132
First Names:John Edward
Last Name:Bell
Date of Birth:27 July 1889
Place of Birth:Turakina
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:17 June 1917
Place of death:Belgium
Place of burial:Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium
Fathers name:Edward Bell
Fathers date of birth:24 December 1846
Fathers place of birth:South Kirby, Yorkshire, England
Fathers date of death:20 May 1912
Fathers place of death:Taupiri, New Zealand
Fathers nationality:English
Mothers name:Mary Watt
Mothers date of birth:5 January 1860
Mothers place of birth:Whanganui, New Zealand
Mothers date of death:21 May 1949
Mothers place of death:Boundary Road, Hamilton
Name of sibilings:Mildred Caroline Bell, Vincent Bell , Ida May Bell , Alexander Law Bell, Percy Lyell Bell, Greame Bell , William Bell , Annie Mary Bell , Violet Bell , Allen Gerrie Bell , and Ivy Cecilia Bell
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)

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