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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

33014 Corporal George Telford BELL and Violet Margaret McGregor

Daniel Cox

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Hi All,


For those interested here is 33014 Corporal George Telford BELL (one of my great-grandfathers), who finished the war with the Australian Veterinary Hospital Calais. Having previously served as a Gunner with the 26th Battery, 7th Field Artillery Brigade, Australian Imperial Force. 


George was born in the Colony of New South Wales, while his parents Adam Bell and Dorothy  Rodham came from County Durham, England. George's father was an accomplished man, who had been amongst other things a town Mayor, Colony Magistrate, insurance company board member and a Freemason. While George's mother is a great-great-aunt of former United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.


I will also be including his wife Violet Margaret McGregor, since she played a role in the war as a civilian, and some my collection of items associated with George also include items that belonged to Violet, featuring her family and friends who also were associated with the war.


The first picture shows George as a Temporary Sergeant, in Australia sometime before embarkation for Europe (early 1917).


The second picture shows George most probably shortly after the Armistice of 1918, as an Australian Army Veterinary Corps Corporal. Of note despite being a member of the Australian Veterinary Corps Hospital, he is wearing the colour patch associated with his service with the 7th Field Artillery Brigade. Of which earlier photos, show him wearing the appropriate colour patch for his AVCH service.


Anyway I will post more about George and Violet with respect to the First World War, in this topic as I properly catalogue and digitise my collection. That said I will shortly post a quick peek, at most of the items I have from George and Violet that are related to the First World War.


I can also relate that I already know quite a lot about his service and life having a considerable collection items from his service including diaries, pay books, service documents, photographs, correspondences and more. Plus I also spent a lot of time with George and Violet as a young child and remember my time with them very fondly. Of which the First World War items that I have are a small portion of family history ephemera, that I have inherited from my Bell/Rodham and McGregor/Murchison side of my family. With this collection starting in the 18th century and carrying on through the 20th.










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One of the things that is helpful for me identifying most of the people in George and Violet's collection, is that George often wrote on the back of postcards and sometimes photographs and had other notes and diary entries which makes most people identifiable. Although there are enough people to keep me busy in trying to find out who they are outside of the ones he lists.


Shown below are a couple of examples of the kind of record keeping he did, in documenting his war service.







Edited by Daniel Cox
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As to the above mentioned First World War collection from George and Violet, here is most of what I have.


Of note the last picture shows items from Sgt Harry Fifield Didcote MiD, that were addressed to George's parents, sister and George as well.













Edited by Daniel Cox
Spotted a typo, probably missed others.
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Very interesting Daniel.  Thank you for posting.  He reminds me a little of the young British actor Rupert Friend.

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You're welcome @FROGSMILE, and I had to look up Rupert Friend having not heard of him.

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Fantastic family collection to have, will keep you busy for some time  I suspect .   In my family I started with some partly correct stories  and one medal ! 

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Thanks @Toontraveller, until last year I had no idea most of this stuff existed. So I am impressed that you started with some stories and one medal. Since all I was aware of was one photograph and some family stories, which in a a plentiful instances have turned out not to be very accurate.


All the best and Happy New Year.

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When looking through diaries and other documents it's worth turning every page. Since there are times when one can find other things between the pages.











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