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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Herbert Bell POW Mesopatamia


Guest JustJayne01

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Guest JustJayne01

Hello all,

My Dad died in 2010 and left us a file on his grandad and great uncles, five men, only one returned from WWI. One was a prisoner of war in Mesopatamia, Gunner Herbert Bell, Royal Field Artillery. He joined up in 1909 and was immediately posted to India where he saw out the war, dying as a POW in 1916. he is named on the Basra War Memorial, but that's all we know about him. His part in my Dad's file is sadly lacking compared to his brothers, Joseph, John, Lawrence and James. Only James survived thanks to their sister writing to his commanding officer, their story has been in th epress of late and I am proud to be the great grandaughter/great great niece of the Bell brothers of Haworth, West Yorkshire.

If anyone has any information on Herbert or knows where I should turn, I would be extremely grateful.

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Morning

Firstly I am no expert no the RFA and all the below has been gleaned from the internet

Herbert Bell was born in Richmond and enlisted in the Army at Keighly being drafted overseas on 17 November 1914 in the 76th Battery Royal Field Artillery.

These were part of X Brigade, 6th (Indian) Division.

From the LLT (http://www.1914-1918.net/rfa_units_10.html)

"Comprising 76, 81 and 82 Batteries, this brigade came under command of the 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army. 63 Battery replaced 81 before the Division sailed for Mesopotamia. It arrived there in 1914 and saw service in the Tigris campaigns before being besieged at Kut-al-Amara. The gunners were taken prisoner when the garrison of Kut was surrendered on 29 April 1916. The brigade was not rebuilt until after the war."

If you Google Kut-al-Amara you will find out what happened. The prisoners were force marched and many did not make it, your relative dying the day after on 30 April 1916.

Regards,

Graeme

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