Private Charles Bell


Charles Bell


Charles Bell was born on 13 April 1887 at 20 Fleetwood Street, Belfast, son of linen warehouseman William Bell and his wife Jane McNeill Bell (nee Orr).

By 1911 he was living with his family at Castleton Gardens, Belfast, and working as a clerk in the audit office of the Midland Railway. Soon after the family moved to nearby Glandore Avenue.

Bell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 16 November 1915 (No.1891 or 1892 – later Corps of Hussars No.71621). In 1916 or early 1917 he was sent to France and posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In mid-1917 he was presented with a certificate commending him for his gallantry in action while attached to a cavalry division signal troop. According to the Belfast News-Letter of 3 August:

Private Bell went out three times and repaired lines, and later, hearing cries for help, sought out and rescued a wounded man from a wrecked dug-out. During the performance of these deeds he was continually under heavy shell-fire.

Bell was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 2 March 1919.


Image, from Belfast Evening Telegraph, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster.