Eric Norman Frankland Bell (28/08/1895 – 01/07/1916) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in Thiepval, France on 1 July 1916.
The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29765, Page: 9417, reads:
“Temp. Capt. Eric Norman Frankland Bell, late R. Innis. Fus.
For most conspicuous bravery. He was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery, and advanced with the infantry in the attack. When our front line was hung up by enfilading machine gun fire Captain Bell crept forward and shot the machine gunner.
Later, on no less than three occasions, when our bombing parties, which were clearing the enemy’s trenches, were unable to advance, he went forward alone and threw Trench Mortar bombs among the enemy. When he had no more, bombs available he stood on the parapet, under intense fire, and used a rifle with great coolness and effect on the enemy advancing to counter-attack.
Finally he was killed rallying and reorganising infantry parties which had lost their officers.
All this was outside the scope of his normal duties with his battery. He gave his life in his supreme devotion to duty. “
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France. Pier and Face 4D/5B
Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project
© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/03/2017.