Private William Bell


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was from Lisburn. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses suggest three or four possibilities.

William Bell enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1682). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Like the majority, Bell was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – but some weeks later than most, between 11 and 24 October 1917. He was issued regimental number 41629 and posted to D Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Bell was wounded during the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918, during the German spring offensive. No further information has been located about his service during the remainder of the war.