Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
12/1885   Gunner Alexander Law Bell
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 30/12/2015
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: New Zealand Field Artillery (New Zealand Army)
Died: 09/08/1918 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 21
Gunner Alexander Law Bell
Further Information
Alexander Law Bell was the son of Edward and Mary Bell (nee Watt) who married in Turakina on 19 May 1881. Alexander was born in Fielding, New Zealand on 22 July 1897.
His mother, Mary Bell, was born in New Zealand. His father was born in England.
Alexander worked as a Drover at Taupiri in the Waikato.
Private Alexander Law Bell embarked with the Auckland Infantry Battalion, along with his older brother John, with the 4th Reinforcements from Wellington on 17 April 1915 for Suez, Egypt.
Alexander Law Bell was the brother of John Edward Bell.
On 3 September 1915 Alexander was admitted to hospital in the Dardanelles suffering from a crushed foot.
On 25 September 1915 he was admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Cairo suffering from Diphtheria.
Private Bell was also acutely ill with Typhoid. Alexander appears to have been invalided out of the army and was discharged on 27 July 1916.
On 16 February 1917 the Medical Board examined him and found him 'now in good health and in a suitable condition for acceptance for re-enlistment'.
Alexander Law Bell attestation paper 1
Alexander Law Bell attestation paper 2
Alexander Bell re-enlisted at Taupiri on 14th May 1917. Like many of his peers, he gave his birth date as 22 July 1894 and therefore bumping his age up to 22, rather than the 19 that he actually was.
His older brother John Bell was killed in Belgium on 17 June 1917.
Private Alexander Bell embarked for a second time as a Gunner with 32nd Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery, embarking with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force from Wellington on 21 November 1917 aboard the Maunganui for Liverpool, England.
Private Bell was wounded once again in France, most likely during the Battle of Amiens.
Private Alexander Law Bell died from his wounds in the field at the Advanced Dressing Station of No. 3 N.Z. Field Ambulance on 9th August 1918. He was 21 years old.
Alexander Law Bell photo
The CWGC records Private Bell as the son of Edward and Mary Bell.
It seems unlikely that either Alexander or his brother ever lived in the Cookstown District.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 John Edward Bell Brother of Alexander Law Bell
2 New Zealand Cenotaph Details of Private Alexander Law Bell including photo
3 Tauranga Memories Comprehensive Biography of Gunner Alexander Law Bell
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2023