Private William Bell

Private William Bell, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France on 23rd April 1917 during the Battle of Arras and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Arras, France. He was the eldest son of the late William Bell of Langraw, Bonchester and had enlisted inthe Scottish Horse before transferring into the Black Watch. He fell in the assault near the infamous Chemical Works which was the scene of very heavy and costly fighting. The Battalion was held up by uncut wire until a tank arrived and broke through this obstacle. After a day of confused struggle the 7th established itself in the German support lines west of the Chemical Works until relieved by the 27th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers the following day. As ever casualties were heavy with 9 Officers and 129 Other Ranks were killed or missing and 3 Officers and 194 Other Ranks wounded. ( The photograph shows him in his Scottish Horse uniform ).  The photograph shows the Memorial raised to the 51st ( Highland ) Division of which the Battalion was part. It was erected in Newfoundland Park on the Somme overlooking “Y” Ravine which was taken when the Division stormed and captured the strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel. A plaque on the Memorial in Gaelic reads ” Friends Are Good On The Day Of Battle “. The other photos show troops during the Battle.

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