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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


REMEMBERING OUR LOCAL HEROES - CPL WILLIAM BELL

12 December 2016

Cadets from Glenwood Detachment in Belfast tell us about the life and service of Corporal William Bell, a great great uncle of Cadet Sergeant Chloe McCrory.

photographed below along with Cadet Sergeant McCrory, 16 is Cadet Megan Muir, 12 and Ellie Byrne, 13

Cpl William Bell was born in 1894 to Abraham and Charlotte Bell.He lived on the Shankill Road and had 3 brothers and 3 sisters.

William served with the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles during World War One, which was part of the 36th Ulster Division.The Bn officially formed in 1881 and was awarded 40 Battle honours and 3 Victoria Crosses.Just over 7000 men from Rifles died during WW1. On 7 February 1918 the Bn was disbanded in France.

William landed at Boulogne in October 1915. Between then and February 1916 the Bn conducted winter training. In March 1916 the 36th Ulster Division took up the commanding the front line.

William died on 8th March 1916, aged 22. He was shot in the head by an enemy sniper.

 

Above, the Bertrancourt Military Cemetary in France where Cpl Bell is buried.

He is buried at Bertrancourt Military cemetery, France, amongst soldiers from a number of regiments and a few from the German army.His burial spot was the original location of a field hospital.

 

Cpl Bell received three medals for his service, The Allied Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914/15 Star.