The Bell brothers of Haworth
All these lads were born at Marrick in North Yorkshire and the family came to live in Haworth around the turn of the century in 1899. They lived at 2, Thomas Street, just up the Brow from Bridgehouse Lane where Haworth war memorial now stands.
Joseph James Bell
Born in 1875, he worked as a warehouseman for Mr R Clough. (possibly Grove Mill, Ingrow?)
In 1908 he joined the 6th Battalion West Riding Regiment (Territorials) at Haworth. He served in the Army for most of the remainder of his life and was early into the army on the outbreak of war as a corporal.
He was discharged (terms of engagement) in April 1916 but immediately re-enlisted and he went out to France in June 1916 with the 1st/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment, serving on the western front.
On 23rd June the West Riding Regiment war diary reports hostile aeroplanes flying about and Joe was killed by a vane bomb dropped from one of these aircraft. He is buried in Sailly-Labourse Cemetery Extension in France. He was 41.
John William Bell
Born in 1885, he married Annie Hanlon in 1908. He had joined the West Riding territorials around this time and would have been 23 years old. They were living at Hermit Hole in Keighley in 1911 and he was working as a Cloth Weaver.
He was still with the West Riding territorials at Keighley at the outbreak of war. In August 1914.
By 1915 he was a Corporal and Lance- Sergeant in January 1915, becoming Acting Sergeant in March.
He went abroad to France with the regiment on 14th April 1915 and served on the western front.
The battalion War Diary reports that No. 162, Sergeant J W Bell was killed by a bullet through the head on 27th December 1915. He is buried at Talana Farm Cemetery, France. He was 30 years old.
No photograph available
Born in 1890, He was working as a Spinner at Merrals Mill in Haworth before enlistment in the 6th Batt West Riding Regiment in April 1908.
Discharged at Skipton in January 1909 to join the Royal Field Artillery. Posted to 76th battery 5th October 1910.
He served in India from 1910 to 1914 when he went to Mesopotamia 7th November 1914 to 19th December 1914., Then back to India from 20th December 1914 to 20th September 1915.
Mesopotamia 21st September 1915 to 28th April 1916.
Prisoner of war 29th April 1916 to 30th June 1916 when he died of enteritis in captivity at Adana, in Turkey. He has no known grave and is named on the Basra War Memorial in Iraq. He was 26.
Lawrence George Bell
Born in 1893, he worked as a mechanics labourer.
Served 3 years in Territorial Army at Haworth.
Emigrated to Sydney, Australia on 5th November 1913 where he was working as a weaver.
Joined Australian Army at the age of 21 at Randwick, New South Wales, on 1st September 1914. 4th Bn, 1st Australian Infantry.
Arrived at Gallipoli in 1915 and had a couple of wounds, a bruise to his arm in May 1915, and in June a shrapnel wound. He returned to the trenches on 13th July 1915.
Promoted to Corporal in October. Killed in action on 1st December 1915 at ANZAC(Cove) when an enemy shell landed on his machine gun position. He was buried at Shell Green Cemetery.
James Binks Bell
Born in 1886, He joined the West Riding Regiment at Haworth in 1907. He was working at a fitter for Hall and Stell.
In 1911 he was working as a wool packer in Haworth and he married Alice Barker in November 1911 at Haworth Parish Church.
He emigrated to Australia in 1912 and when war broke out he joined the Australian Army in New South Wales at the age of 26. At the time he was working as a Gear hand and apprenticed as a textile machinist. He went to France in August 1917 and was working as an ammunition driver. At some time he was sick and in hospital in January 1918. He was discharged 'for family reasons' on 10th March 1918.
John William Bell's wife Annie (neé Hanlon) wrote to James Binks Bell's commanding officer, pleading for them to send him home as three of his brothers were known to have been killed and one other (Herbert) was a prisoner of war and nothing had been heard from him for two years.
If James Binks Bell had been killed, the family would have lost all five of the brothers to the war. After checking the story, the authorities agreed that James Binks Bell should be discharged and he was sent home, having already served five months in France.