As part of our project to document the names on the Duncan Cenotaph in Charles Hoey Park, here is a page about Private George Thomas Bell, who died on 21 February 1915, aged 39, of spinal meningitis while serving with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in England. He is buried in Bulford Church Cemetery, Wiltshire, U.K.
He had previously served in the Boer War.
Here is the local Cowichan Leader newspaper report of the death of Private George Thomas Bell:
“Toll Of War
Two Young Cowichan Soldiers Dead
The Cowichan public learned with sorrow this week of the death of two young men who had gone forth from their homes here to take up arms for their country.
On Sunday last Mrs. George T. Bell of Duncan received a telegram from Ottawa notifying her that her husband was seriously ill at No. 1 General Hospital, Netheravon, from cerebro spinal meningitis. On Monday the sad news came that he had died at Fulford Hospital.
The late Private Bell served through the South African War, for which he held the Queen’s and King’s medals, with the Sharp Shooters and Imperial Yeomanry. He came here from Winnipeg, was married here some three years ago, and worked in Duncan.
He was one of two men from Cowichan who joined Elliot’s Horse, a corps whose members became enrolled with the Royal Canadian Dragoons (regulars) with whom Mr. Bell was stationed on Salisbury Plain.
After a few days illness Mr. Frederick Gerald Haycroft died at the home of his parents, The Knole, Duncan, on Monday last. He had only recently joined the 88th Victoria Fusiliers and while serving in the capitol contracted bronchial pneumonia and came home on sick leave.
Private Haycroft was only 18 years of age and up to three weeks ago had been living in the Chilcotin district on a homestead he took up about a year ago. he was buried on Tuesday afternoon at St. Peter’s, Quamichan.”
(Source: Cowichan Leader, 25 February 1915, from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)
Here are links to more information about George Thomas Bell:
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Bulford Church Cemetery, Wiltshire, U.K.
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