James H. Bell

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James Henry Bell served in the A.I.F. during World War One.



James Bell was born in Creswick in about 1883.

In 1903, Bell was working as a barman at the Plough and Harrow Hotel in Mair Street, Ballarat. He testified at the inquest into the death of the publican, Joseph Stallard.

James H. Bell, bar tender, deposed that during the small hours of Wednesday morning last, while the gambling and drinking were in progress, a row occurred between Stallard and a railway employe named David Moncrieff over a matter of threepence, and that Moncrieff knocked Stallard down. Witness separated the combatants, but deceased afterwards attacked Moncricff, who again knocked him down. This fall appeared to have stunned Stallard, and he (Bell) put him on a sofa in the parlor. Stallard subsequently recovered, and "shouted" drinks for the company. He then became very drunk and went upstairs. He was unconscious when found at the foot of the stairs, and witness and a drover named William M'Culloch lifted him on to a sofa, where he died.[1]

At the time of his enlistment in June, 1915, he was married to Jane Edith.[2] They were living at 3 Geelong Road, Ballarat East. Bell gave his occupation as miner. He joined the 8th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion.[2] On 4 November 1915 he was discharged as being medically unfit.[2] He re-enlisted again on 1 May 1916, his address now being 12 Young Street, Ballarat East.[2]

He arrived in Plymouth aboard the "Euripedes" on 20 October 1916, and was sent to France shortly afterwards to join the 8th Battalion. By early November he was in trouble for behaving in an aggressive and threatening manner, and was confined to camp for 7 days and fined two days pay.[2] On 26 February 1917, he was wounded in action, with gun shot wounds to the face and back.[2] He was returned to England where he was admitted to the Beaufort Military Hospital, Bristol, on 4 March 1917.[2] He returned to the front in July 1917.

On 17 December 1917, Bell was reported as missing in action.[2] On 31 January 1918, it was confirmed that he was a prisoner of war in Germany.[2]

He returned to Australia on the "Nevasa" on 5 March 1919.[2] His wife had contacted the army in January 1919 to advise that her new address was 27 Clyde Lane.[2]


World War One service recognised on the Ballarat Avenue of Honour.

See also



  1. 1903 'A PUBLICAN'S FATAL "SPREE.".', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 12 January, p. 3, viewed 15 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88590117
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 National Archives of Australia, World War I records, B2455, BELL J H, SERN 6218, http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx accessed 14 December 2013

Further Reading

External links

--Beth Kicinski 13:09, 17 June 2013 (EST)

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