Cpt Eric Bell

Cpt Eric Bell Captain Eric Bell

A 20 year old Temporary Captain in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Eric Bell was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery at Thiepval on the somme, July 1st 1916, the first day of the battle.

"For most conspicuous bravery. He was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery and advanced with the infantry in the attack, when the front line was held up by enfilading machine gun fire. Captain Bell crept forward and shot the machine - gunner. Later, on no less than three occasions when our bombing parties, which were clearing the enemy trenches, were unable to advance, he crept forward alone and threw trench - mortar bombs among the enemy. When no more bombs were available he stood on the parapet under intense fire and used a rifle with great coolness and effect on the enemy advancing to counter-attack. Finally he was killed rallying and reorganizing infantry parties which had lost their officers. All this was outside his scope of his normal duties with his battery. He gave his life in his supreme devotion to duty."

His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.