SECOND LIEUTENANT JAMES BELL
DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY
22ND APRIL 1918 AGE 25
BURIED: BOUZINCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
April 22nd 1918
"At 7-30 pm 35th & 38th Divisions attacked - 19th Durham L.I. taking part. The attack as far as the 19th Durham L.I. were concerned was not a success - the right Coy. suffering severe casualties. The Battalion had to wait 8 minutes after Zero before advancing to conform to the Barrage and thus possibly gave the enemy M.G.s time to get ready".
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Friday 3 May 1918
"Sec-Lieut. James Bell, Durham L.I. who was killed in action on April 22, was the elder son of Mr John Bell, of 6 Lowthian Road, West Hartlepool. He joined the Honourable Artillery Company in November 1915, and was with them in France for seventeen months. He was granted a commission in February last. Formerly he was a Second Division clerk at Somerset House, and later was with the Health Insurance Commissioners at Buckingham Gate."
John Bell, a ships plater in the naval dockyards at Hartlepool, chose his son's inscription. To Mr Bell, his son had given his life so that Britain might be free. Imagine telling him that today people think the war was a futile waste. It's not just that he wouldn't believe you but he would be insulted - and he would consider that you had insulted his son ... and perhaps you had. As people like Mr Bell saw it, Germany had threatened to destroy Britain and her Empire and people like his son had saved it ... and perhaps they had.