BELL, Harold George
(Service number 24/349)
|First Rank||(1) Rifleman; (2) Private||Last Rank|
|Date||10 November 1893||Place of Birth||Timaru|
|Address at Enlistment||(1) 96 Willis Street, Ashburton|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||(1) Robert BELL (father)m Ashburton; (2) R. BELL (father), Wills Street, Ashburton|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||(1) New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion; (2) New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||(1) B Company; (2) 39th Reinforcements, C Company|
|Date||(1) 9 October 1915; (2) 23 June 1918|
|Transport||(1) Tahiti; (2) Athenic|
|Embarked From||Destination||(1) Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||29 May 1965||Age||71 years|
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Purewa Crematorium, Auckland|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Harold George Bell, known as Harry, was born on 10 November 1893 at Timaru, the fourth surviving son of Robert and Mary (née McPeake) Bell. Harry attended Timaru Main School, transferring to Ashburton when the family moved there in September 1900. He had a notable academic career at high school and at university, graduating in 1915. Harold Bell was a student when he first enlisted in 1915. He married Gertrude Edith Kenderdine in 1917. His brother John McPeake Bell was killed in action in 1918 in France. Another brother, Harold George, also served in World War I.
His father, Robert Brown, was born in Scotland, married in 1885 in Queensland, and came with his wife to Timaru in 1886. He was the manager of the “Timaru Herald” and the “Timaru Post”; in 1900 he purchased the “Ashuburton Mail” and the “Ashburton Guardian”; and later he was managing director of the “Lyttelton Times” Company. Mr Bell gained a world-wide reputation in journalism and newspaper management. He also took a keen interest in education and, after the death of his second son, John, in August 1918 at the Battle of Bapaume, he established memorial scholarships at Ashburton High School. In 1936 Robert Bell travelled abroad, mainly for his health. On 24 August 1937 he died in a London hospital and was buried in his native Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland. His sons, too, engaged in journalism and newspaper management, each making a name for himself. Harold, his brother William and his sister supported their brother Robert Brown Bell, in his court action over the distribution of their father’s very large estate. Mrs Bell died on 2 September 1943 at Christchurch and was buried at the Timaru Cemetery with her infant children. Both Mr and Mrs Bell were survived by just three sons and one daughter of the nine children born to them.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [08 August 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [08 August 2020]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [08 August 2020]; Purewa Cremation record [08 August 2020]; Ashburton Guardian, 25 August 1937, 8 December 1938, 4 September 1943, Evening Star, 8 December 1938 (Papers Past) [9 August 2020]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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