(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Andrew Bell was born on the 5th September 1891. He was baptised on the 2nd December 1891 at St Ambrose Church and first lived on Wolseley Street in Pendleton, Salford. By 1911 his family had moved to 17 Sedan Street in Salford. His father Alexander was originally from Stirlingshire in Scotland and worked as a labourer in an iron foundry. His mother's name was Ada. They had six children, two sons and 4 daughters, of which Andrew was the third-oldest. The names of his siblings were Robert James, Annie, Andrew, Janet, Bertha and Asa. Before the First World War, Andrew worked as a clerk in a shipping office.
Andrew joined the Army in Manchester shortly after the outbreak of the First World War in September 1914. He was given the service number 6716 and joined the 16th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. Also known as the 1st City Battalion, this was a ‘pals battalion’ of Manchester lads who enlisted, trained and fought together. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal during his service.
He was deployed to the Western Front in July 1915. He saw action in several battles, including Loos, the Somme Offensive, Vimy Ridge and Arras. He later served in the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele, in which he was killed on the 31st July 1917, the first day of the battle. He was 25 years old. He is buried in Perth Cemetery in Belgium along with 1,425 others.
Andrew’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2014.