Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Arthur Bell

Arthur Bell :

Arthur Bell : (L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

Arthur was born between April and June 1895 in Manchester. His father was named Henry and his mother was Sarah Ellen. He had 3 older brothers; Henry, James and Edward, and 3 younger siblings; George, Amy and Florence. Henry was a rubber sheet cutter and Sarah made rubber balls. In 1901 the family lived at 26 Pump Street in South Manchester.

By 1911 Henry and James had left home, and the rest of the family lived at 19 Halton Street in Hulme, Manchester. Arthur was working as a labourer for a firm that made rubber hosepipe, possibly the same one that still employed Henry.

Arthur must have wanted to do more with his life, as he joined the 7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment in late December 1913 or early January 1914. This was a unit of the Territorial Force, so Arthur would keep his job and train to be a soldier at the weekend. He was given the service number 2009.

When the First World War broke out in August 1914 the 7th Battalion was called into service and sent to Egypt in September. Arthur went with them to Egypt and then to Khartoum in Sudan. In May 1915 the 7th Battalion took part in the invasion of Gallipoli.

A major objective of the original Allied invasion on the 25th April was the village of Krithia. The Turkish defenders had been able to stop two separate attempts to capture it, and in early June the Allies decided to try again. The 7th Battalion took part in this attack, which began on the 4thJune 1915. The 7th Battalion advanced further than most British units, but this meant when the Turks counter attacked they were cut off and forced to withdraw without capturing the village.

Casualties were heavy, and Arthur was one of the soldiers killed in action that day. He was 20 years old. After the war Arthur's grave could not be found, so his name is one of the 20885 commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. Arthur's name can be found between Panel 158 and 170.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council