Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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6270   Private George Reilly Bell
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Dated added: 01/01/2016   Last updated: 12/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 25/09/1889
Died: 21/01/1918 (Killed in Action)
Age: 27
Summary      
George Reilly Bell was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Bell. He was born in Castledawson on 25th September 1889. George worked on the family farm in Castledawson for some years. He went on to become a Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.) Constable stationed at Lisburn. George Bell enlisted at Dublin. Private Bell was severely wounded by shrapnel at Hohenzollern Redoubt, but he returned to the front. Private George Reilly Bell was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards when he was killed in action on 21st January 1918. He was 28 years old.
Further Information
George Bell was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Bell. Joseph Bell is believed to have married Elizabeth Neill in the district of Antrim on the 8th August 1879.
George Reilly Bell was born in Castledawson on 25th September 1889.
Family: Joseph Bell, Elizabeth Bell, Samuel Bell (born 24th January 1882), James Bell (born 16th December 1883), Margaret Bell (born 7th March 1886), Joseph Bell (born 23rd September 1887), George R Bell (born 25th September 1889), Robert Bell (born 2nd October 1891), William Bell (born 26th September 1893), David Bell (born 28th November 1897).
The 1901 census lists George as age 11 living with the family at house 2 in Annaghmore, Castledawson, County Londonderry. George was still at school. His father was a farmer.
The 1911 census lists George Reilly as age 21 living with the family at house 1 in Annaghmore, Castledawson, County Londonderry. He was working on the family farm.
George R Bell went on to become a Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.) Constable stationed at Railway Street Barracks, Lisburn.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 12th December 1914:
Constable George Bell of Bellshill, Castledawson, at present stationed in Lisburn, is one of the R.I.C. Volunteers accepted for service in the Irish Guards. Constable Bell is one of four brothers on the Force.
George Bell enlisted at Dublin.
Medal card
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th November 1915:
Information has been received that Private George Bell, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, has been wounded, and is now in hospital in London. He was struck by shrapnel, which injured his face and leg. He is a native of Castledawson, and prior to volunteering was stationed in Railway Street Barracks, Lisburn, along with Constable Fleming (now Sergeant) and Constable Shiels, both of whom have been wounded.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd April 1916: Castledawson
Private George Bell, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, son of Mr Joseph Bell, Bellshill, is at present on home on leave from hospital. Private Bell, who was previously a R.I.C. constable stationed at Lisburn, was severely wounded by shrapnel at the famous Hohenzollern Redoubt, but surgical skill has left him almost without a mark, and anxious to be once more with his comrades in the field.
In October/November 1915, Private Bell was severely wounded in the face and leg by shrapnel at Hohenzollern Redoubt, and spent some time in hospital in London.
After some months recuperating, George recovered and he returned to the front.
Private George Reilly Bell was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards when he was killed in action on 21st January 1918. He was 28 years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 1st February 1918:
Private George Bell, Irish Guards, son of Mr joseph Bell, Castledawson, killed.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd February 1918:
BELL – 21st January, Private George Bell, Irish Guards (former R.I.C. Constable stationed at Lisburn), killed in action in France, fifth son of Joseph Bell, Bellshill, Castledawson.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th February 1918: Private George R Bell
Private George R Bell, son of Mr Joseph Bell, Bellshill, Castledawson, Irish Guards, formerly of the R.I.C. and stationed at Lisburn, killed in action 21st January 1918.
Private George Bell is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery in Roeux in France.
Private G R Bell is listed on Lisburn War Memorial.
The CWGC record Private George Reilly Bell as the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Bell of Annaghmore, Castledawson.
Read more
Relevant Magherafelt Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Annaghmore, Castledawson Castledawson Census listing in Annaghmore, Castledawson 54.772425 -6.557504
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Bell family 1901 census lists George R as age 11 living with the family at house 2 in Annaghmore, Castledawson, Londonderry
2 1911 Census lists Bell family 1911 census lists George Reilly as age 21 living with the family at house 1 in Annaghmore, Castledawson, Londonderry
3 Castledawson War Dead Details of Private George Reilly Bell
4 Facebook - Castledawson Life Photo of Private George Reilly Bell
5 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private George Reilly Bell's grave
6 Lisburn newspaper report Details of Private George Reilly Bell
7 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here.
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private George Reilly Bell's grave can be purchased here
Magherafelt District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2014-2020