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Rfm Joseph Bell 13/16227 13th Batt Royal Irish Rifles


Maxsparky
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Would appreciate any information on:- Rifleman Joseph Bell, 13/16227, 'B' Company, 13th Batt Royal Irish Rifles, from Rathfriland, Co Down.

From my own research on 13/10/14 at CLandeboye Camp, then at Guadaloupe Barracks, Borden (Hants) 108 Brigade, date unknown, at Hut 12, 10 Dorrington Camp, Salisbury Plain, date unknown, then Hut 14 West Block Camp, Ballykinlar 17/11/17. Last trace at Folkestone heading to France 26/06/18.

Where 13th Batt at above locations?

Any pointers as to where I go next with my research. Tried MIC without success?

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Welcome to the forum Adrian,

there is a MIC here at the NA, same name, same number but he's listed as Royal Irish Fusiliers and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Jon

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Adrian

13th Royal Irish Rifles, part of 108th Brigade, trained at Clandeboye Camp, which opened around 7th/12th Sept 14, moved to Seaford, moved to Borden and Bramshott 2nd Sept 15, then to France with the rest of 36th Ulster Division in early Oct 1915.

Jon

There would seem to be a transcription error on the National Archive site see MIC below.

Regards, Tommy.

post-29775-1233744293.jpg

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Adrian,

The date on the card Tommy posted, 3rd October 1915 is the first day the main section of the Ulster Division crossed to France.

There is a J.Bell listed on the nominal roll of the 13th Rifles, but with no number, for 'B' company.

From a small booklet called 'THe Reminiscences of Captain D.J.Bell of Ballynahinch'. This came out in the 60's, i think, and was taken from newspaper articles out of 'The Mourne Observer'.

If you do a search using key words 'Ulster' and 'Irish', you should get previous posts from people with interest/connections to the 13th.

Jerry Murtland is one who springs to mind.

Rob

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Thanks for the info so far folks.

Joseph appears to have been in Ballykinlar Camp on the 17/11/17. Would the 13th have returned then as well? Did the 13th join with the 11th Batt due to the losses incurred on 1st July at the Somme. It would seem the 13th Batt took really heavy losses.

Tommy your MIc card is better quality than the one I downloaded from Nat Archives?

Regards

Adrian

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Adrian

The 11th and 13th battalions amalgamated on 13th Nov 1917 to form 11th/13th Battalion, this new battalion was subsequently disbanded in France in Feb 1918.

The MIC is from Ancestry, they scanned them in colour from the National Archives. If you are looking at a lot of MIC's Ancestry is a better option/investment. Alternatively you can always post a query on the GWF and some kind soul will usually do a search and download info for you.

Regards, Tommy.

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Adrian

I had a mate check his records (includes info from medal rolls) on the 13th Rifles and according to his records, Joseph Bell enlisted in Sept 1914 and he was in "C" company and not "B" at the time. I take it that you have some documentation/postcard or other to suggest otherwise. He was wounded on 1st July and probably on recovering from his wounds he was then posted to Inniskillings.

I have checked D J Bell's book again, which as Rob says is a nominal roll of the 13th Rifles. When the 13th was in training at Clandeboye, Capt Bell was at that time Quartermaster Sergeant of the 13th, preserved a full clothing list of the names of the officer and men of all four companies. It is that list on which the entries in his book are based.

A Company - there is no Bell J listed, only a Bell A.

B Company - Bell J listed as well as Bell d, Bell r, Bell t, Bell w x 2.

C Company - Bell Jos listed as well as Bell Andrew, Bell David, Bell David John, Bell Geo, Bell Harper, Bell Richard, Bell Thos J, Bell Andrew Thos.

D Company - Bell J listed as well as Bell A, Bell R J, Bell F, Bell R and Bell W.

Hope the above is useful, or does it open up a can of worms for you.

Regards, Tommy.

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Tommy,

Thanks for the additional info. This research does get a grip of you!

Yes, just recently came into possession of some postcards. I have a postcard addressed to him at C Coy Clandeboye refering to (Rathfriland Coy) Joseph was from Rathfriland. A further card addressed to Hut No4 B Coy 13 Batt RIR at Clandeboye so it would seem he may have been in both Companys being in 'C' first.

I also have a card to him at Hut 14 B Coy West Block Camp, Ballykinlar. The date frank is 17 Nov 17 so it would seem he was still with the Rifles then. I wonder why he was back at B'Kinlar then?

He appears to have returned to France via Folkestone on 26/06/18

Regards

Adrian

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Adrian

Can you make out the dates on the 2 Clandeboye cards, might help us a bit. I have guys from Banbridge who ended up in company's other than D by the way. Interesting he refers to C being Rathfriland though, it could also depend exactly where in Rathfriland he lived as well. My understanding of the rough breakdown of companies was;

A Company

Bangor, Holywood and Donaghdee.

B Company

Bangor, Newtownards, Donaghdee, Comber and Newtownards.

C Company

Ballynahinch, Dromore, Hillsborough, Downpatrick, Newcastle and Castlewellan.

D Company

Kilkeel, Newry, Banbridge and Rathfriland.

Regards, Tommy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

To try and take my research further. Is there any other records I could be looking at?

Is there any chance that Rfm Joseph Bell's Service Record exists? Are would it be one of the many records destroyed in WW2?

Adrian

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Adrian

I had a quick look on Ancestry for you under both numbers and I can find no trace of either a service record or pension record for him, only the MIC is there. The only other thing is the original medal rolls held at the national Archive at Kew but they are unlikely to give you anything more than whats on his MIC and my mate has already been throught them all anyway. Local newspapers I have found prove to be a bit of a problem for the Rathfriland area, some soldiers from Rathfriland are mentioned occasionally in the Banbridge Chronicle but I have nothing for your Joseph Bell, sorry!

Regards, Tommy.

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Hello Gents,

Sorry to be a pedantic Limey, but it is Bordon, not Borden. It makes all the difference as Borden is another place entirely and the unwary could be taken way off course. I'm not normally one to pick up on spelling mistakes, but this time it's important.

Cheers,

Nigel

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Pedantic Limey,

I was going with the Historial document i.e. the Postcard which had the spelling Borden but the additional (Hants) would be the clue for Hampshire and therefore not take you of course. This link will resolve any problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordon,_Hampshire

Regards

Adrian

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Tommy,

Many thanks again for your help which will cut down some research on my part. I know you would have said, but Is there anything on the back of the MIC on Ancestry?

By the way if anyone is researching "Rathfriland" be aware that it is also spelt "Rathfryland" Any searches on the 1911 Census of Ireland will return no hits on the modern spelling.

Regards

Adrian

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Adrian

Sorry, nothing on the back of he MIC to help you I'm afraid.

Tommy.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tommy,

He was wounded on 1st July and probably on recovering from his wounds he was then posted to Inniskillings.

Just realised this was in previous reply. Is there any further information regarding this. Do you know the source document or where I could get a copy?

Adrian

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Adrian

There are I think about 11 pages or so of 1st July casualties, killed and wounded, listed in the 13th Battalion war diary. The information about him being wounded would have come from that list.

Regards, Tommy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Adrian

There are I think about 11 pages or so of 1st July casualties, killed and wounded, listed in the 13th Battalion war diary. The information about him being wounded would have come from that list.

Regards, Tommy.

Would anyone have a copy of the section or the text of the war diary for 13th Royal Irish Rifles which covers the above Rifleman, which they would kindly share with me?

Thanks

Adrian

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  • 4 years later...

Just bringing this to the fore again.

Would anyone have a copy of the section or the text of the war diary for 13th Royal Irish Rifles which covers the above Rifleman, which they would kindly share with me?

Thanks

Adrian

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Adrian, I just noticed that no-one seems to have replied - I have a copy of the page from the War Diary showing that Rifleman J. Bell was wounded on July 1 - it says he was in C Company but doesn't give any further information. There's also a description of C Company's part in the attack.

Please send me a pm if you still need this.

All the best, John

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