Private James Bell

Private James Bell, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards. He was killed in action in Belgium, aged 30, on the 31st July 1917 on the opening day of the Battle of Third Ypres. He had been born in Ancrum and was the son of John and Helen Bell of 6 Nether Place, Galashiels. He had joined his Battalion in France in April 1915 and was killed on his Birthday. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. ( His brother George also fell – see above). Before enlisting in Sptember 1914 he had worked as a drystane dyker. He fell in the attack on Pilckem Ridge which attained its objectives but due to intense machine gun fire cost the Battalion 2 Officers and 42 Other Ranks killed and 7 Officers and 207 Other Ranks wounded. In addition 13 Other Ranks were posted missing. The photos show troops in the early stages of the Battle.

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