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Bell, J.J., Pte., 1919
49698 Private John James Bell served with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Great War 1914-1918.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

John James Bell was born 1879 at Easington, County Durham, one of 6 known children, 3 boys and 3 girls born to coal miner Samuel James Bell 1852 native of Wood Dalling, Norfolk and his wife Susannah Elizabeth born 1856 at Corpusty, Norfolk, whom he married in 1871 at Norwich. In 1881 they were living at Eight Rows Five, Haswell, County Durham and later at Smith Street.

John James, aged 21, married November 7th 1900, at Cockerham, in the county of Durham, Henrietta Sarah Taylor born 1876 at Washington, County Durham and went to live in with his in-laws William and Elizabeth Taylor at 6, Hawthorn Terrace, South Hetton, where they remained even after William Taylor was widowed. In 1901 Henrietta gave birth to a son William Taylor Bell, followed by Norman 1904, Clara 1908, Elizabeth 1911 and Gladys in 1914.

John James Bell enlisted at Sunderland, January 16th 1915, aged 35 years and was assigned as Private 49698 to the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was sent with the Expeditionary Force to Egypt June 1st 1915, admitted to the War Hospital at Abbasia October 1st 1915 until the 27th before re-joining his unit. He remained in Egypt until April 21st 1918 when he again required medical attention. First sent to the War Hospital and then to Rest Camp, location unspecified, once recovered he was sent to the R.A.M.C. depot at Blackpool. John James remained in England until June 14th 1918 until he was sent to the front via Southampton to Le Havre, France with the 98th Field Ambulance designated to the 1/2nd West Lancashire Regiment as part of the 30th Division. He was sent back to England December 15th 1918 to the reserves until his demobilisation January 18th 1919 at Ripon, Yorkshire. He was demobilised under Class Z as there were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality hostilities resumed. Private 49698 John James Bell returned to civilian life with the obligation to return if called upon. He received the awards of the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal in recognition of his service.

John James Bell died in the district of Easington, March 1919, he was 39 years old, cause unknown.His widow Henrietta Sarah Hall nee Taylor of 23 Hall Street, South Hetton, County Durham, died November 22nd 1936, aged 61.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

John James Bell is remembered at Hawthorn on H119.01 at South Hetton on S127.03 and S127.05

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk