Frederick William Bell

Frederick William Bell[1]

Male 1875 - 1954  (79 years)

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  • Name Frederick William Bell 
    Born 03 Apr1875  Perth, Western Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1894  Perth Western Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cadet Western Australian Customs Department and later Cashier 
    War Service Oct 1899  Boer War - South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Enlisted as a private in the 1st West Australian (Mounted Infantry) Contingent 
    Frederick William Bell
    Frederick William Bell
    In uniform during the Boer War
    Western Australia Transvaal Contingent
    Western Australia Transvaal Contingent
    Western Australian Transvaal Contingent lining up on Karrakatta Station, near Perth 75h November 1899. Fred is listed as one of those present, he was a private at the time
    War Service 1899 - 1901  Boer War - South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    He first saw action at Slingersfontein, and later took part in the relief of Johannesburg and Pretoria and the battles of Diamond Hill and Wittenbergen: on 19th July 1900, in a sharp engagement at Palmeitfontein, he was seriously wounded in the abdomen and invalided to England. He returned to Perth in February 1901, was commissioned Lieutenant in the 6th Contingent on 8th March and re-embarked for South Africa.
    He gained the Victoria Cross at Brakpan in the Transvall for bravery in action. He was the first Western Australian to achieve this honour. Details of his action were carried in the London Illustrated News of October 12th 1901, Pages 534 and 535, along with two other VC medal winners from different actions. 
    Artists Image of Frederick Bell in the action that he won his Victoria Cross
    Artists Image of Frederick Bell in the action that he won his Victoria Cross
    Lieutenant Frederick William Bell VC
    Lieutenant Frederick William Bell VC
    Portrait of Lieutenant Frederick William Bell VC of the 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry. Fred enlisted for service Boer War in October 1899 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in Brakpan,Transvaal.
     Lieutenant Frederick William Bell
    Lieutenant Frederick William Bell
    This Photo was taken of Fred during the Boer War
    Military Honours 16 May 1901  Boar War Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Lt William Frederick Bell won the Victoria Cross for consipicuous gallantry at Brakpan in the South African War (Boer War). On the 16 May 1901 at Brakpan, Transvaal, South Africa, when retiring under heavy fire after holding the right flank when he saw a colleague who was dismounted. In spite of the intensity of fire he turned about, went to the man's aid, and took him up behind him on his horse. The weight of the two men proved too great for the animal, which fell with them. Bell thereupon insisted that the man should mount the horse and make his escape. Bell remained behind and covered his retirement until he was out of danger.

    The following is a more detailed account of the action at Brakpan:

    "In May and June 1901 the Fifth and Sixth WA Mounted Infantry Contingents were searching for Boer parties in open country east
    of Johannesburg. In a severe engagement on 15 May, five members of the Sixth Contingent were killed. The following day Boers
    ambushed the Contingent in long grass in marshy country. They let the leading scouts pass by, then opened fire at close range on the
    main body. Galloping for the safety of high ground, the West Australians were pursued by Boers firing from horseback. A retreating
    horse fell with its rider. Lieutenant Bell hoisted the man up behind, but their combined weight was too great for his horse. Bell sent
    the man on to safety on the horse while he gave rapid covering fire from behind an anthill, covering not only the man's retreat but that
    of Captain Campbell, a brother officer with another rescued rider mounted behind him. For his bravery that day, Bell was awarded the
    Victoria Cross"

     
    Frederick William Bell's Military honours
    Frederick William Bell's Military honours
    Medals consist of - Left to right
    Victoria Cross; Queen's South Africa Medal (clasps for Wittenbergen, Diamond Hill, Johannesburg, and Cape Colony); King's South Africa Medal (clasps for South Africa 1901 and 1902); Africa General Service Medal (clasp for Somaliland 1908-10); 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal with Oak Leaf (Mention in Dispatches), Coronation Medals for Edward VII, George VI and Elizabeth II.
    Occupation 1905  British Colonial Service - British Somaliland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assistant Political Officer - He held this post until 1910. 
    Occupation Apr 1905  British Colonial Service - British Somaliland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assistant District Officer 
    Occupation 1910  British Colonial Service - Nigeria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assistant Resident 
    Occupation 1912  British Colonial Service - Kenya Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assistant District Commission - held this position until 1914 when he became ill and was sent back to England to recuperate. 
    War Service 1914-1918  World War I Find all individuals with events at this location 
    At the outbreak of World War One he immediately volunteered for service. He went to France with the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. He was mentioned in dispatches and promoted to Captain in October 1915. He was also wounded again. He returned to England and was made Commandant of a rest camp and promoted to Major; later he was made Lt Col and became the Commandant of the Embarkation Camps in Plymouth England. 
    Captain Fredrick William Bell
    Captain Fredrick William Bell
    Fredrick William Bell as a Captain in WW1
    Lt Col Frederick William Bell
    Lt Col Frederick William Bell
    Taken in or Devonport UK where he was Commanding Officer at an Embarkation/Rest Camp
    Lt Col Frederick William Bell
    Lt Col Frederick William Bell
    This photo was taken in or near Devonport England where he was Commanding Officer at an Embarkation/Rest Camp
    Occupation 1918  British Colonial Service - Kenya Find all individuals with events at this location 
    District Commissioner - After the first World War he became the District Commissioner in Kenya. In 1924/25 he gave evidence at the Masai Inquiry Committee at which his evidence appeared to displease the Government; he was retired in 1925, allegedly on the grounds of age - he was 50 at the time. The Government denied the allegations he gave under oath to the Inquiry. "Masai Inquiry Committee" in the 1925 index. an entry for 23rd April, page 11 which read:
    "Reprimand of Kenya Official
    Lord Delamere's Criticisms (from our correspondent). Nairobi April 20th
    In the Kenya Legislative Council Lord Delamere moved a resolution drawing attention to the reprimand and notification of termination of his services given bythe Government to Col FW Bell VC, a District Commissioner, following hisevidence before the Masai Inquiry Committee.
    Lord Delamere stated that Col Bell had given evidence that certain sums of the
    Native Trust Fund earmarked for certain purposes had been diverted to other purposes; also that he was ordered to send askaris (native troops) to round up
    Masai children, who were forced to attend school against the wishes of theirparents; and further that he had characterized permission given to superior officers to allow Masai warriors to maintain their war-like insignia as very injudicious.
    The resolution was defeated. The Government contended that Col Bell's
    retirement was previously recommended because he had reached the age limit
    and was not connected with the evidence, although it was true that action was not
    taken in regard to Col Bell's retirement until the evidence was given. The
    Government stated that it retains the right to censure officials who criticize the
    policy of their superiors, even when giving evidence. It also denied the truth of
    the allegations made.
    Lord Delamere, in the same resolution, asked the Government to abandon the
    practice of instructing natives beforehand as to the evidence they were expected
    to give, and quoted a statement of Col Bell that he had been ordered to hold a
    meeting of the Masai for this purpose before the sitting of the Committee. The
    Government denied tampering with witnesses, asserting that it endeavoured to
    assist the Inquiry, but Lord Delamere regarded it as significant that the native
    speeches which were delivered to the Parliamentary Commission had been
    typewritten beforehand. He said he was fighting for principles and had no
    personal interest to serve."
    I later found out, in an entry in The Times for 24th June 1924, that Lord
    Delamere had been a member of the Inquiry Committee (I never did manage to
    find out why the Committee had been set up in the first place). It was crystal
    clear that Lord Delamere had been deeply disturbed by the treatment handed out
    to FW whose only "crime" seems to have been that he told the truth about matters
    which the Government didn't wish to accept - was it not ever so? FW was not
    only a brave man, but also an honourable one who suffered for his honesty.

     
    Died 28 Apr 1954  Bristol, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • Lt Col FW Bell VC; obituary
      The Times Saturday 1st May 1954
      "Lt Col Frederick William Bell, who won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous
      gallantry at Brakpan in the South African War, died at Bristol on Wednesday
      at the age of 79.
      He won the decoration on May 16th, 1901, at Brakpan. He was retiring under
      heavy fire after holding the right flank when he saw a colleague who was
      dismounted. In spite of the intensity of fire he turned about, went to the man's
      aid, and took him up behind him on his horse. The weight of the two men
      proved too great for the animal, which fell with them. Bell thereupon insisted
      that the man should mount the horse and make his escape. Bell remained
      behind and covered his retirement until he was out of danger. Bell also saw
      active service in Somaliland and later in the 1914-18 War.
      He later served as a political officer in British Somaliland and as an
      administrative officer in both Nigeria and Kenya Colony. He retired from the
      colonial service in 1925 and at the time the circumstances surrounding his
      retirement received a considerable amount of prominence. The late Lord
      Delamere moved a resolution in the Administrative Assembly of Kenya
      drawing the attention to "the reprimand and notice of termination of his
      services, given by the Government to Lt Col FW Bell VC, a District
      Commissioner, following his evidence before the Masai Inquiry Committee".
      The Government contended that Bell's retirement had been previously
      recommended on the ground that he had reached the age limit, and that it
      was not connected with the evidence that he had given."
    Buried Canford Cemetery, Bristol, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Memorial Service Held at Fred's Grave
    Memorial Service Held at Fred's Grave
    On 16th May 2001 the Centenary of Fred's winning of the VC, It was honoured with a ceremony around his grave
    Ceremony around Fred's grave in honour of the 100th anniversary of him winning the Victoria Cross.
    Ceremony around Fred's grave in honour of the 100th anniversary of him winning the Victoria Cross.
    J.N. Tidmarsh MBE JP The Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, A Royal British Legion Flag Bearer, Lt Col Mike Phelps Australian Army, Col Brian John The Head of the local branch of the Royal British Legion and Canon Roy Harrison Chaplain to the Gloucestershire County Branch of the Legion
    Notes 
    • The following notes were Extracted from "The Search for Lt Col FW Bell VC" by James C Briggs

      Born in Perth, Western Australia 03/04/1875. His paternal grandfather was George
      Bell (b. UK 1818; d. Western Australia 29/11/1908). On 24/01/1846 George married
      Lydia Charlotte Duffield (b. UK 04/06/1829; d. Western Australia 23/07/1915).
      George arrived on the "Napoleon" in Fremantle in 1840 (by 1865 he's listed as
      a carpenter in the Western Australian Almanac). Lydia and her mother arrived with early settlers
      in about 1831, her father, John Hole Duffield, (Frederick's maternal grandfather)
      having arrived in Fremantle on HMS "Warrior" in 1830. They had 12 children
      between 1846 and 1872, 7 girls and 5 boys. Henry Thomas (1848-1923), Lt Col
      Bell's father, was the second child.

      English period after his forced retirement. I knew that the
      address where he and his second wife lived prior to their removal to Bristol
      was "Darklands, Symonds Yat, Hereford". Back in 1952, when they moved
      to Bristol, Symonds Yat lay right on the border of Monmouthshire,
      Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Monmouthshire and Herefordshire no
      longer exist as separate Counties. Where was I to turn? I put off the decision
      until mid May when I rang the General Property Services of Bristol City
      Council. They were a bit bemused by my request of help as to where to look
      for information; never-the-less, after some internal consultations, they
      suggested that I rang Gwent County Council, since they thought that
      Symonds Yat was now in that domain. BT rapidly gave me the correct phone
      number and again, after some internal discussions, in which it became clear
      that they had no records, they gave me the number of the Hereford Record
      Office, which still exists as a separate entity in spite of the County now being
      Hereford and Worcester. I rang and told them the information that I was
      trying to gain about Frederick Bell. There and then they checked the Electoral Registers,
      but with no result; they next turned to Kelly's Directory for 1941 and
      discovered that Frederick, presumably with his first wife who died in 1944, lived
      at "Pengwyn", Symonds Yat. They also told me that a Mrs Cracklow was
      living at "Darklands", Symonds Yat. (Mrs Cracklow was FW's second wife
      whom he married in 1945). They then checked the 1934 Directory and
      established that both Frederick and Mrs Cracklow were at the same addresses.
      Unfortunately the next oldest Kelly's that they had was for 1922, when I knew
      that Frederick was still in Kenya. All of this Hereford information came over the
      phone in the course of about 20 minutes.
      It thus appears that FW lived in Symonds Yat - a very beautiful part of the
      world incidentally - at least from 1934. Initially he was with his first wife,
      whom he married in London in 1922. She died in 1944 and about a year later
      he married Mrs Cracklow, a widow, whom he must have known for many
      years since they both lived in the same area. When his first wife died he moved into "Darklands", owned by Mrs Cracklow and it was for this reason
      that she, and not he, purchased the house in Bristol. Whether he ever owned
      "Pengwyn" or merely rented, I don't know. However, see (5).
      I now regarded Frederick's story as complete. I submitted an account of my searches
      to The Military History Society of Australia and they were delighted to
      publish it in their journal Sabretache - the address having been given me by
      John Black. (Sabretache 1997:38/2:3-12)

      In 1871 Henry Thomas married Alice Agnes Watson (07/05/1853 -
      04/09/1936); they had 10 children between 1873 and 1894 and FW was the
      second.

      Of his siblings the eldest, Luna Alice (25/04/1873 - ?), married a Mr Cox and
      was living in the UK in 1936. Two of his brothers served in the Australian
      Imperial Force in WW1; Edgar was killed at Gallipoli and Bert at Pozieres in
      France. For more family details see " Appendix".

      Frederick was initially in the Western Australian Customs Dept, joining as a cadet in 1894; he later became a cashier.

      In October 1899, at the outbreak of the South African War, he enlisted as a
      Private in the 1st West Australian (Mounted Infantry) Contingent. (At this
      stage of the development of Australia the individual States acted on their own
      in these matters: only in 1901 did the States combine to produce an
      "Australian" army).


      He first saw action at Slingersfontein, and later took part in the relief of
      Johannesburg and Pretoria and the battles of Diamond Hill and
      Wittenbergen: on 19th July 1900, in a sharp engagement at Palmeitfontein,
      he was seriously wounded in the abdomen and invalided to England. He
      returned to Perth in February 1901, was commissioned Lieutenant in the 6th
      Contingent on 8th March and re-embarked for South Africa

      He gained the VC at Brakpan in the Transvaal for bravery in action. He was
      the first W Australian to achieve this honour. Details of his action were
      carried in the London Illustrated News of October 12th 1901, pages 534 and
      535, along with two other VC medal winners from different actions.

      All Crosses are engraved with the date of the action on the back and the
      recipient's name on the back of the Clasp. However FW was originally
      presented with an unengraved Cross in South Africa, one of several taken out
      for presentation in the field by the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward
      VII. It was returned to the War Office for engraving. In the meantime
      another Cross with Fredericks's name on it had been prepared for presentation and
      sent separately to South Africa, but it was later melted down. (There is
      another version of this story which says that the medal was presented by the
      Prince to FW in London on 11th July 1902).

      After his discharge in May 1902 he joined the Australian section of the
      Coronation Escort for King Edward VII. He then settled in Perth, but
      returned to England, joined the Colonial Service in 1905 and was appointed
      to British Somaliland as an Assistant District Officer in April.

      He became an Assistant Political Officer later that year, a post which he held
      until 1910. He took up big game hunting and, in 1909, narrowly escaped
      death in a lion hunt. He found himself alone as a lion charged. He shot it, but
      managed only to infuriate it by blowing away its lower jaw. The lion and he
      wrestled in the dust until help arrived. He spent six months in England recovering from the mauling.
      He became Assistant Resident in Nigeria in 1910 and an Assistant District
      Commissioner in Kenya in 1912. In 1914 he became ill and was sent to
      England to recuperate.

      At the outbreak of WW1, on the eve of his recovery, he immediately
      volunteered for service. (In 1907 he had been commissioned in the 4th
      Reserve Regiment of Cavalry). He went to France with the Royal Irish
      Dragoon Guards. He was mentioned in dispatches and promoted to Captain
      in October 1915. He was also wounded again. He returned to England and
      was made Commandant of a rest camp and promoted to Major; later he was
      made Lt Col and became the Commandant of the Embarkation Camps in
      Plymouth.

      After the War he became a District Commissioner in Kenya.
      In May 1922, aged 47, he married in London to Mabel Mackenzie Valentini (nee
      Skinner), a divorcee. She died in 1944.
      In 1924/25 he gave evidence at the Masai Inquiry Committee at which his
      evidence appeared to displease the Government; he was retired in 1925, allegedly
      on the grounds of age - he was 50 at the time. The Government denied the
      allegations he gave under oath to the Inquiry.
      He remarried on 20th February 1945 to Brenda Margaret Cracklow (nee
      Illingworth), a widow. At this time he was 69.
      He visited W Australia with his wife in 1947 and took part in a ceremony with
      other holders of the VC.

      Prior to 1952 he lived at Darklands, Symonds Yat, Hereford. He moved to 89
      Stoke Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol following the purchase of the house by
      his wife on 11th July 1952.
      He died in Bristol on Wednesday 28th April 1954 at the age of 79. He is buried
      in Canford Cemetery, Bristol. An obituary appeared in The Times on Saturday
      1st May 1954. His wife continued to live in the house, apparently with Mary
      Brenda Cracklow, her retired secretary but also probably an unmarried
      Sister-in-Law from Mrs Bell's first marriage.(5).
      Lt Col Bell had no children of his own.

      In 1979 W Australia celebrated the 150th anniversary of its first settlement. 150
      brass plaques were placed in the pavements of Perth; his details are on the one
      for 1901.

      In 1984 a medal dealer offered his VC (and other medals) for sale to the family
      in WA. The asking price was apparently A$43,000, possibly for the VC only.
      The medal had been sold much earlier (details unknown, but possibly by his
      widow or step son) and went to Canada. See (5) and last paragraphs of this text.

      It then reappeared on the market in London from where the offer to the family
      came. In view of the price the family were forced to decline the offer.
      However the WA Government was alerted about the sale and made
      arrangements for one of their representatives to make the acquisition. The
      story hit the WA newspapers on 12th Oct. 1984. The medals are now on
      permanent display in the WA museum. The medals, 10 in all, consist of the
      VC; Queen's South Africa Medal (clasps for Wittenbergen, Diamond Hill,
      Johannesburg, and Cape Colony); King's South Africa Medal (clasps for
      South Africa 1901 and 1902); Africa General Service Medal (clasp for
      Somaliland 1908-10); 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal with
      Oak Leaf (Mention in Dispatches), Coronation Medals for Edward VII,
      George VI and Elizabeth II.

      In 1991 a permanent display about him was placed in the foyer of the
      Customs Department in Fremantle.
    • Extract of a Letter sent by Frederick William Bell to his parents, Printed in "The West Australian Mercury" newspaper of 21st October 1901.

      dated 10th August and says:
      that since his last letter:
      "The contingent have had a tough time, but are recompensed by the results of
      same, taking in all 50 prisoners, innumerable waggons, cattle, horses and
      sheep; also mealie and foodstuff. This morning we left Ermelo after spending
      yesterday there in collecting the inhabitants who were the Boers' best friends.
      We fought a pretty severe rear-guard action coming away; as we evacuated,
      the enemy again going in and following us to this camp, the strength of the
      commando being 800. Many handsome buildings we were compelled to burn,
      and last night was unique in my experience. Imagine a dozen houses at least
      in blaze at one time; and again our column camped on the outskirts, having
      huge bonfire concerts, with instruments looted from the adjacent houses,
      including at least five pianos among the different regiments, everybody
      enjoying the scene and life, and merriment prevailing on all sides. Such a
      sight is not easily forgotten and, no doubt, the night of 10-8-1901 will live a
      long time in our memories. A few nights since we had the good fortune to bag
      25 prisoners. Marching all night we surrounded a farm just as dawn was
      breaking. We fixed bayonets and charged with a yell, with the result of
      capturing without a shot. Some trouble was experienced in getting them out
      of the houses, but a few men with cold steel worked wonders. They were,
      indeed, a motley lot and, strange to say, amongst them were some old enemies
      of ours whom we had previously met at Brakpan. We identified them by
      saddlery, wearing apparel etc., etc., taken from the killed at that place. One
      man was also wearing a ring our men recognised as belonging to a dead
      comrade. Our prisoner tried very hard to hide himself in the roof; it was
      funny to see him poked out of hiding with a bayonet. In this capture, as
      Tommy would say, we "got our own back".
      We are now on route to Carolina and, on arrival there expect a good mail. In
      regard to letters lately captured at Reits, I can place very little reliance on
      them. The prisoners taken assure us that Botha has not the least intention of
      giving up. This trek we have been in a lot of the same country as when with
      Kitchener. The third night out we secured 18 prisoners in the same manner
      as before mentioned. This portion of the Transvaal is now one burnt out and
      blackened mass. The want of grass is beginning to tell on the Boers' cattle and
      horses; those captured by us are, many of them, in poor condition. Only this
      morning we shot over 50 wild ones driven in by us and found to be useless.
      A few words in reference to the contingent. The men have now thoroughly
      settled down to the work and are beginning to understand the wily burgher
      and his many varied and own peculiar ways of fighting; they have not had, as
      predicted in the first, a huge picnic. Hard work and plenty of fighting have
      been the general thing, intermingling with severe night marches in the biting
      cold. There are few things more fatiguing or trying than the latter. How
      entirely different everything now is when compared with the general advance
      of eighteen months ago, unless actually experienced, very few can form any
      idea of what a prolonged and severe campaign like this really means.
      Country, one devastated burnt and blackened mass; home and belongings
      consigned to the flames, as each column winds along; cattle, sheep and
      livestock either destroyed or driven in; families given short notice to leave
      their all and come along after watching the destruction of homes they have
      known since childhood. I am not, in the least, an admirer of the Boer or his
      ways, but, taking all these things into consideration, I cannot censure him for
      killing as many of us as possible. What would Englishmen, or Australians, do
      under the same conditions as our enemies but fight to the last? Blood is
      thicker than water. Even so, we cannot but admire the Dutch women for their
      loyalty, self-sacrifice and devotion they have shown to the men fighting
      against us; now alas, for them, a forlorn cause. Small skirmishes are now the
      order of the day. The Boers are now broken up into small parties.
      Nevertheless, hey cause us plenty of hard work, with minimum risk to
      themselves; knowing every nook and corner as they do, it is a simple matter
      for them to evade us. Night work appears the only way of surprising them as,
      owing to the intensely cold weather, they are compelled to take shelter in
      some of the farms. Snipe, snipe, snipe from ridge to ridge, and so the
      rear-guard usually gets it. Guerilla war-fare is now the correct term. From
      information gleaned from recent prisoners bagged, this struggle seems no
      nearer termination than it was twelve months ago. The man who changeth
      not is the Australian soldier. He goes his way happy in the possession of loot
      and a good horse, and although, perhaps, the weight of a little pig or,
      perchance a duck on the saddle tells on his mount, he fights none the worse
      for it. The latest scheme has been collecting kaffirs; the spectacle of a
      regiment of niggers of all ages and descriptions, from the picaninny to the
      aged gin with not enough clothing amongst them to make a decent dishcloth,
      is indeed funny. So they do their daily march in rear of the convoy, carrying
      their worldly belongings with them. One of the most striking features of the
      campaign is the necessary destruction of yoke oxen, horses, mules etc. These
      poor dumb brutes are forced along until they drop from sheer exhaustion,
      being then shot and left to rot. When I tell you I have seen as many as twenty
      oxen drop on one march, you will form some idea of the number required;
      horses even in greater proportion are destroyed. Good old John Bull is ever
      ready with a fresh one; his purse strings are being pulled severely,
      however.Something out of the ordinary I witnessed the other evening. We had
      collected a number of Dutch women and children. It being Sunday night in
      camp, they asked permission to sing hymns. On being granted them, and after
      going through well known "Sankey's", assisted by our own Tommies, they
      sang "Where is my wandering boy tonight?", first in their own tongue and
      then in ours. This last would have been quite as successful as the former, only
      our fellows would be original and substitute the word "girl" in lieu of "boy",
      which caused the ladies, after singing the Dutch National Anthem, to retire,
      and so the proceedings ended with "God Save the King" from the lusty throats
      of three or four hundred Britishers. probably you are wondering where the
      Boers' supplies are coming from and how he exists. 'Tis a simple matter, for
      every farm there are at least two kaffir kraals; until quite recently these have
      been left intact by us, notwithstanding they all contained large supplies of
      mealies, millet etc. As the Boer believes in Might before Right, the
      consequence is that the kaffir has to part with his stock. We are the sufferers.
      In addition to this, his cattle are unmolested, with the result of the Boer
      coming behind and helping himself. There are supplies hidden in the country
      to keep them for many months to come. We are continually bringing to light
      such things. A favourite place for hiding different articles is their graveyards,
      shaping the earth so as to resemble a newly made grave. We make some very
      fair finds in these places; also in the rocks and on the banks of steams we dig
      up loot of all descriptions.
      A rather amusing incident occurred prior to leaving Ermalo. I was behind
      with a small post. It appears that two privates remained in town after the
      column had moved out, with the result of the Boers coming in on top of them.
      As they only had one horse, they tossed a coin as to who would remain
      behind, whilst the other took his chance of running the gauntlet. The man
      who decided to ride for it had a bad time, for as he approached me I gave my
      men the order for volleys, never dreaming he was one of our own men, as I
      knew the enemy to be in the town. By his waving and shouting I saw
      something was amiss, and let him approach. Fortunately he was not hit, only
      scared. The man who was compelled to remain was wounded and taken
      prisoner, being subsequently released, and arriving at camp the same evening.
      Both belonged to the Scottish Horse."
    Person ID I7966  Tucker Family Tree | Duffield Family Tree
    Last Modified 12 Oct 2009 

    Father Henry Thomas Bell,   b. 1848, Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Alice Agnes Watson,   b. 07 May 1853, Perth, Western Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Sep 1936  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 1871  Perth, Western Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F2465  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 03 Apr1875 - Perth, Western Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Cadet Western Australian Customs Department and later Cashier - 1894 - Perth Western Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Assistant Political Officer - He held this post until 1910. - 1905 - British Colonial Service - British Somaliland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Assistant District Officer - Apr 1905 - British Colonial Service - British Somaliland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Assistant Resident - 1910 - British Colonial Service - Nigeria Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Assistant District Commission - held this position until 1914 when he became ill and was sent back to England to recuperate. - 1912 - British Colonial Service - Kenya Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - District Commissioner - After the first World War he became the District Commissioner in Kenya. In 1924/25 he gave evidence at the Masai Inquiry Committee at which his evidence appeared to displease the Government; he was retired in 1925, allegedly on the grounds of age - he was 50 at the time. The Government denied the allegations he gave under oath to the Inquiry. "Masai Inquiry Committee" in the 1925 index. an entry for 23rd April, page 11 which read: "Reprimand of Kenya Official Lord Delamere's Criticisms (from our correspondent). Nairobi April 20th In the Kenya Legislative Council Lord Delamere moved a resolution drawing attention to the reprimand and notification of termination of his services given bythe Government to Col FW Bell VC, a District Commissioner, following hisevidence before the Masai Inquiry Committee. Lord Delamere stated that Col Bell had given evidence that certain sums of the Native Trust Fund earmarked for certain purposes had been diverted to other purposes; also that he was ordered to send askaris (native troops) to round up Masai children, who were forced to attend school against the wishes of theirparents; and further that he had characterized permission given to superior officers to allow Masai warriors to maintain their war-like insignia as very injudicious. The resolution was defeated. The Government contended that Col Bell's retirement was previously recommended because he had reached the age limit and was not connected with the evidence, although it was true that action was not taken in regard to Col Bell's retirement until the evidence was given. The Government stated that it retains the right to censure officials who criticize the policy of their superiors, even when giving evidence. It also denied the truth of the allegations made. Lord Delamere, in the same resolution, asked the Government to abandon the practice of instructing natives beforehand as to the evidence they were expected to give, and quoted a statement of Col Bell that he had been ordered to hold a meeting of the Masai for this purpose before the sitting of the Committee. The Government denied tampering with witnesses, asserting that it endeavoured to assist the Inquiry, but Lord Delamere regarded it as significant that the native speeches which were delivered to the Parliamentary Commission had been typewritten beforehand. He said he was fighting for principles and had no personal interest to serve." I later found out, in an entry in The Times for 24th June 1924, that Lord Delamere had been a member of the Inquiry Committee (I never did manage to find out why the Committee had been set up in the first place). It was crystal clear that Lord Delamere had been deeply disturbed by the treatment handed out to FW whose only "crime" seems to have been that he told the truth about matters which the Government didn't wish to accept - was it not ever so? FW was not only a brave man, but also an honourable one who suffered for his honesty. - 1918 - British Colonial Service - Kenya Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Apr 1954 - Bristol, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Canford Cemetery, Bristol, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Fredrick William Bell
    Fredrick William Bell
    The picture shows Fred on a horse possibly outside a Stirling Street Perth Address.

  • Sources 
    1. [S22] The Search for Lt Col FW Bell VC, James C Briggs (Reliability: 2).

    2. [S21] W.A. Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Department of the Atorney General (Reliability: 3), 1875.
      Surname Bell, Given Names Frederick William, Place of Birth Perth, Father Henry Thomas, Mother Watson Alice Agnes, Registration Year 1875, Registration No. 16289

    3. [S21] W.A. Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Department of the Atorney General (Reliability: 3), 1871.
      Surname Bell, Given Names Henry Thomas, Sex Male, Place of Marriage Perth, Spouse Surname Watson, Spouse Given Names Alice Agnes, Registration year 1871, Registration No. 3371


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