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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
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Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Bell

BELL, Albert James 1889-1918

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 25.12.1889.  Parents: Samuel James Bell (Innkeeper) and Alice Emily [née Barber].  Family Connections: Nephew of Harry Bell [b1856]; also, cousin of George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884], James Bell [b1895] and Clarence William Bell [b1893].  Home: White Hart Inn, St Marys Street, Long Melford (1891 and 1901), Paper Mill Lane, Claydon, Suffolk (1911), Green Dragon Hotel, Sudbury, Suffolk [1915 to 1918].  Occupation: Upholsterer (1911).  Service Record: Attested as Pte.3/9946 with 9th [Service] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, posted to France near Bethune from 30.8.1915 as part of 71st Brigade, 24th Division.  A month later Albert’s division saw fierce action at The Battle of Loos and the following year at the Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval in September, during the Somme Offensive, and in November 1917 at Cambrai.  Albert Bell, together with many other men from the Battalion were transferred on 5.2.1918 to 11th [Service] Battalion, Suffolks.  In March and April his new battalion was to make a series of fighting withdrawals under the full weight of the German Spring Offensive, losing hundreds of men in the process.  In May 11th Suffolks was transferred to the command of 61st [2nd South Midland] Division’s 183rd Brigade, moving from the area of the Arras, north towards Valenciennes.  By the middle of summer, the tide had turned in the Allies favour and in late October 11th Suffolks threw its weight behind the victory at the Battle of the Selle.  Died: Private Bell died of wounds on 8.11.1918, three short days before the Armistice came into force.  The unit’s War Diary records that the last casualties it sustained was when a high-explosive shell scored a direct hit on battalion headquarters at Larblin, six miles south of Valenciennes, on 30.10.1918.  It may well have been here that Albert received his fatal wounds.  He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension [grave ref: S.III.X.16], Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France and commemorated on the War Memorial in Sudbury, Suffolk.[1]

[1] Date of birth from Admission Register 6.1.1896, St Catherines Infants School, Long Melford.  The prefix ‘3’ to Albert Bell’s regimental number suggests that he served in 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment before the Great War.  For details of 9th and 11th Suffolks movements see War Diaries [WO 95/1625/1] and [WO 95/2458/3 and WO 95/3062/2].  See also Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.120-26, 194-99, 277-82 and 296-300.  Also see his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 796839], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  See also his entry in the National Probate Calendar.

BELL, Bertie William 1882-1964

Born: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1882.  Parents: Harry Bell [see below for details] (Plumber and House Painter) and Susannah Mary [née Wood].  Family Connections: Brother to George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884] and James Bell [b1895]; also, cousin of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and brother-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1891, 1901), Police Section House, Ambroden Avenue, Westminster, London (1911), 62 Walton Street, Chelsea, London [1917], 18 Kelvedon Road, Fulham, London [1924].  Occupation: Assistant Schoolmaster (1901), Metropolitan Police Constable (1911) [1917].  Married: Rozina Maud Insani in 1917.  Service Record: No definitive military records found.  Died: Northern Surrey in 1964.

BELL, Clarence William 1893-1914

Born: Sudbury, Suffolk on 15.3.1893.  Parents: Ernest Edward Bell (Landlord of the Half Moon Inn) and Laura [née Sparrow].  Family Connections: Nephew of Harry Bell [b1856]; also, cousin of George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884], James Bell [b1895] and Albert James Bell [b1890].  Home: The Half Moon, Gregory Street, Sudbury (1901), Dettingen Barracks, Blackdown, Frimley, Surrey (1911).  Occupation: Iron Moulder [1909].  Service Record: Clarence enlisted in 1909 as Pte.9626 with 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, part of 16th Brigade, 6th Division stationed in Ireland.  On 8.9.1914 his unit formed part of the contingient sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force making its fighting retreat from the Belgian town of Mons.  Died: Private Bell was recorded as missing presumed killed in action on 23.10.1914 and is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial [panal 8], Hainaut, Belgium and the War Memorial in Sudbury, Suffolk.[1]

[1] Date of birth taken from baptism register 25.4.1893 for St Peters Church, Sudbury, Suffolk.  For miltary details see his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]; also, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 252709] and Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

BELL, George Harry 1879-1970

Born: Clare, Suffolk on 15.9.1879.  Parents: Harry Bell [see above for details] (Plumber and House Painter) and Susannah Mary [née Wood].  Family Connections: Brother to Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884] and James Bell [b1895]; also, cousin of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and brother-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: 88 Melbourne Road, Tottenham, London (1881), Hall Street, Long Melford (1891 and 1901), Park Cottage, High Street, Long Melford (1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Plumber and Painter (1901), Horsehair Factory Manager (1911), Master Plumber and Decorator (1939).  Married: Nellie Bean in 1905 (served as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment in WWII).  Service Record: A member of the Cyclist Company, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment in 1902.  In 1908 he served as CSM.138 in ‘C’ Company, 5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment [Territorial].  In 1914 as Regimental Sergeant Major of 1/5th Battalion, Suffolks he was posted on 10.8.1915 to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli.  At the baptism of his son in 1917 he is recorded as the RSM of 1/1st Nottingham Yeomanry [South Nottinghamshire Hussars].  His Medal Roll and Medal Index Card show that he was also transferred as No. 281575 to 1/1st Royal North Devonshire Yeomanry.  All units served in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Palestine.  George was discharged in May 1920.  In 1922 George is recorded as a committee member of the Long Melford Ex-Service Men’s Club and from 1951 as Warden of Holy Trinity Hospital.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk on 2.3.1970.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford.  See the entry for Bertie John Allen [b1886] for an account of the Suffolk’s first days after stepping ashore in Gallipoli.  For details of 1/5th Suffolk’s movements in Gallipoli see War Diary [WO 95/4325] and Capt. A. Fair [mc] and Capt. E. D. Wolton [compiled by] “The Suffolk Regiment”: the history of the 1/5th Battalion [London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1923], pp.13-37.  For details of 1/1st Notts and Royal North Devons see War Diaries [WO 95/4405] and [WO 95/4446].  For his son’s Baptism see Register of Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  Also see Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BELL, Harry 1856-1922

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1856.  Parents: James Bell (Police Constable) and Mahala [née Jarvis].  Family Connections: Father of George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884] and James Bell [b1895]; also, uncle of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and father-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: 3 New Road, Sudbury, Suffolk (1861), 69 Melford Road, Sudbury (1871), 88 Melbourne Road, Tottenham, London (1881), Hall Street, Long Melford (1891) to [1922].  Occupation: House Painter (1871 and 1881), Plumber and House Painter (1891 to 1911), Builder [1916 to 1937], trading as H. Bell and Sons [1937].  Married: Susannah Mary Wood in 1878.  Service Record: Harry was a founding committee member and Sergeant with the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps in 1915.  He also acted as a canvasser for the village recruiting drives in December 1915 and 1917.  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 25.5.1922.[1]

[1] For business details see Kelly’s Directory Suffolk 1916 and for Training Corps article see Bury Free Press 20.2.1915 and Suffolk and Essex Free Press 10.3.1915.

BELL, James b1895

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 27.1.1895.  Parents: Harry Bell [see above for details] (Plumber and House Painter) and Susannah Mary [née Wood].  Family Connections: Brother to George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882] and Percy Alfred Bell [b1884]; also, cousin of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and bother-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1901), living with Stephen Langton (Uncle) at 53 Market Street, Watford, Hertfordshire (1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1939).  Married: Winifred.  Occupation: Motor Engineer (1911 to 1939).  Service Record: James enlisted on 19.2.1915 as Private, later Sergeant Fitter No. M2/049560 with the Army Service Corps, being posted to France from 6.7.1915 to 7.8.1916 with 177th [Mechanical Transport] Company, ASC, as part of 15th Divisional Supply Column, where his unit was involved in bringing forward supplies during the Battle of Loos in 1915 and the Somme Offensive the following year.  He returned to England in August 1916 returning to France with 916th [MT] Company, ASC from 1.4.1917 to 3.4.1918.  The rest of his career up to his discharge in February 1920 appears to have been served in England.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford, which also records spouse’s forename, however no definitive marriage record has been found.  Also see Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BELL, Percy Alfred 1884-1921

Born: Sudbury, Suffolk on 8.11.1884.  Parents: Harry Bell [see above for details] (Plumber and House Painter) and Susannah Mary [née Wood].  Family Connections: Brother to George Harry Bell [b1879], Robert James Bell [b1881], Bertie William Bell [b1882] and Percy Alfred Bell [b1884]; also, cousin of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and bother-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1891), living with Ernest Edward Bell (Uncle) at The Half Moon, Gregory Street, Sudbury, Suffolk (1901), lodging with Arthur Cheverton at 8 Rowley Lane, Kelvedon, Essex (1911), emigrated to the USA [1912], 141 West End Avenue, Brighampton City, New York [1918].  Occupation: Draper’s Assistant (1901), Butcher (1911), Leather Cutter [1912], Shoe Factory Worker [1918].  Married: Ethel Grout in 1916.  Service Record: Percy completed a US military Draft Registration, it is not known however, whether he was actually called for active service.  Died: Johnson City, New York in 1921.[1]

[1] Date of birth and address taken from his United States World War I Draft Registration Card [ref: 3391] also see www.finda grave. com/memorial/57657404/percy-a-bell.

BELL, Robert James 1881-1974

Born: Tottenham, Middlesex on 18.5.1881.  Parents: Harry Bell of Long Melford   [see above for details] (Plumber and House Painter) and Susannah Mary [née Wood].  Family Connections: Brother to George Harry Bell [b1879], Bertie William Bell [b1882], Percy Alfred Bell [b1884] and James Bell [b1895]; also, cousin of Albert James Bell [b1889] and Clarence William Bell [b1893], and bother-in-law of Ernest Charles Markby [b1884].  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford (1891 to 1939).  Occupation: Plumber and Painter (1901), Plumber (1911), Taxi Driver (1939).  Married: Ivy Crane in 1909.  Service Record: Robert enlisted in 1899 as Pte.4944 with 7th [Queen’s Own] Hussars, being discharged in 1900 as ‘medically unfit’.  He re-enlisted on 31.8.1914 as Pte.3/9654, later of 3rd [Reserve] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, transferring as Pte.47310 to 8th [Service] Battalion, Suffolks, then on 12.7.1915 to 10th [Reserve] Battalion, Suffolks and finally on 1.9.1916 as Pte.TR/9/4055 to 26th [Training Reserve] Battalion.  Died: Isle of Sheppey, Kent in 1974[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford.  See also his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363].

Long Melford Football Club 1902 – Robert Bell (back row centre)

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022

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