Edward James Bell

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Edward James Bell
Bell Edward James.jpg
Bell Edward James grave marker.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 6 Dec 1891
Place of Birth Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Cardiff, Wales
Death 25 May 1915
Place of Death Gallipoli - Died of Wounds
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 10 months
Description 5' 6" (1.68m) tall ; 132 lbs
59.874 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Mill hand
Religion Presbyterian
Address NOK River road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Brother , Mr William Henry Bell
Military Information
Reg Number 385
Date of Enlistment 9 Sep 1914
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, B Company / 4th Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1914 ‒ 1 Feb 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Fate Died of Wounds, 25 May 1915
Monument None yet
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal


Pre War

Emigrated to Australia, arriving in Fremantle on 3 Feb 1911 aboard the SS Otway.

On 8 Sep 1914 he was living in Kelmscott, Western Australia.


War Service

An original member of B Company 16th Battalion, he trained with them at Blackboy Hill, and travelled with them to Melbourne leaving Fremantle on 21 Nov 1914. In Melbourne they joined the rest of the 4th Brigade at Broadmeadows camp a week later. On 22 Dec 1914 the 16th Battalion boarded HMAT A40 Ceramic at the Railway Pier in Port Melbourne and they sailed at 2:30pm that afternoon for Albany, arriving there at 6:00am on 28 Dec 1914. Along with 15 other transports she sailed on 31 Dec 1914 for Egypt via Aden., arriving at Alexandria on 1 Feb 1916.

Disembarking on the 3rd, the battalion was then carried by train to Zeitoun, a suburb of Cairo where they then marched 3 kilometres to Heliopolis to set up camp in the desert. On 11 April the battalion left Cairo by train for Alexandria where they boarded HMT Haida Pascha which was undergoing fit out as a troop transport vessel. Arriving at Mudros Harbour late on 15 April they remained there until about noon on 25 Apr 1915 when HMT Haida Pascha weighed anchor and set of for Anzac Cove where the 16th Battalion went ashore at 5:30pm and moved up to positions on Pope's Hill.

Late on Friday 30 Apr 1915 they were relieved, and moved to a rest area until 2 May 1915 when they moved up to launch an attack on The Angle, taking heavy casualties in both the attack and the abortive attempt to hold the ground that they had won. By 3 May 1915 the battalion strength was only 307 as they sought to reform in a rest area, down from 995 when they had landed.

After a period resting and rebuilding the 16th Battalion along with the rest of the 4th Brigade were allotted the sector containing Courtney and Quinn's Posts and Pope's Hill. Edward's company relieved elements of the 15th Battalion at Quinn's Post on May 18, and his body was found a week later.

As he had not been evacuated to a hospital ship despite being recorded as Died of Wounds received, it is likely that Edward was shot by a Turkish sniper while trying to make it back for medical treatment after being injured at Quinn's Poston the previous, or same day as his body was found. He was buried on the southern end of Anzac Cove beach by members of the 14th Battalion.

  • Beach Cemetery Anzac Cove CWGC
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Buried in the Beach Cemetery, Anzac in Plot 1, Row G, Grave Number 4.

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CASUALTIES. NEXT OF KIN. The following are the particulars of the next of kin of those Western Australians mentioned in the 30th Casualty List, published yesterday:- Private E. J. Bell, 16th Battalion, B Company, age 23, single, next of kin W. H. Bell, Kelmscott (brother).[1]


Notes

NOK left Kelmscott for North Perth in 1917. Edward's will divided his estate evenly between his 3 brothers and four sisters. (2 brothers and 1 sister living in WA).

References

  1. "WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXI, (4,110). Western Australia. 4 June 1915. p. 7 (SECOND EDITION.). Retrieved 18 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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