17295 A/Corporal ROBERT HENRY BELL.

10th Bn, Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in action, aged 30, on the 26th October 1917.

Born at Skelton in Cleveland. Enlisted Richmond, N Yorks.

Son of Robert M and Eliza M Bell of 24 Bolckow St, N Skelton N Yorkshire.

The Tyne Cot Memorial. Zonnebeke, West Vlanderen, Belgium.

In 1901 Robert, aged 14, was living at 24 Bolckow St and been born in Skelton.
His father, Robert, aged 65, was an under-manager, below ground in the Ironstone Mine. He had been born in Shildon, Co Durham.
His mother, Eliza, aged 53, had been born in Ainthorpe, N Yorks.
He had a much older sister, Annie, aged 27, also born in Ainthorpe.

The 10th Yorks Battalion was formed in Richmond in Sep 1914.
It was attached to the 62nd Brigade, 21st Division.
Robert went out to France on the 9th September 1915 and unless he spent time out wounded, must have fought with the Division at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and through 1916 on the Somme.
In 1917 the Division had fought in the Battles of the Scarpe around Arras and was then ordered to Ypres where it took part in the offensive better known as Passchendaele.
An offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces at Ypres, commencing in June, to divert German attention from a weakened French front further South.
The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success.
The Infantry attacked on the 31st July after a 2 week Artillery bombardment, which gave the Germans warning and destroyed the drainage of what was to start with a swampy plain.
One of the wettest Summers on record then turned the battleground into pits of mud in which men and horses drowned.
The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.
The 5 mile advance over 3 months had cost 325,000 Allied casualties and a quarter of a million Germans.
Robert Bell was killed in the later stages of this Battle.

He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial which lists 35,000 men who have no known grave and stands at the furthest point of the Western advance in Flanders before the armistice was signed.
All around the graves of the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the World.

Go back to 1918 - 1919.
Go back to 1917.
Main Contents Page.