BELL, Harold George
(Service number 24/349)

Aliases Harry
First Rank (1) Rifleman; (2) Private Last Rank


Date 10 November 1893 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment (1) 96 Willis Street, Ashburton
Occupation Student
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin (1) Robert BELL (father)m Ashburton; (2) R. BELL (father), Wills Street, Ashburton
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 29 May 1965 Age 71 years
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Purewa Crematorium, Auckland
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

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]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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