The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Lieutenant (Later Lieutenant Colonel) Frederick Bell VC

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Frederick Bell

Ancestor's date of birth: 03/04/1875

Ancestor's date of death: 28/04/1954

Cause of Death: Old age

Service Number: 8, then Officer - no number

Colony or State of enlistment: WA, Place of Enlistment: Perth

Unit: W.A. Mounted Infantry (1st and 6th Contingents)

Rank attained in Boer War: LT, Date Effective: February 1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): LTCOL, Date Effective: 1918

Murray Page: 400, 426

Contingent: 1st then 6th WA

Ship: Detail not provided

Memorial details: Detail not provided

Decorations: Victoria Cross, MID, Queen's S.A. Medal with 4 clasps, King's S.A. Medal with 2 clasps, Africa General Service Medal, 1914-15 Star, British Wa Medal, Victory Medal, Coronation Medal x 3

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided

Reasons to go and fight: Not know by me.

Details of service in war: Brakpan where he won the VC - I have photos of his medals, him, and a battlefield sketch - all supplied by the W.A. Museum who has his medals.

Service and life after the Boer War: Served with Reserve of Officers Assistant District Commissioner East African Protectorate 1909-1910 where mauled by a lion. Separate MOD record states he served in Somaliland for 5 years where he was commander of a double company of standing militia. Served in 4th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, Royal Irish Dragoon Guards as a Lieutenant and Captain in 1914. Commander of Rest Camp in Devenport 1915. LTCOL 1918. Relinquished commission 1919. I have a Letter of his life in England in 1948 written to my great great grandfather in Perth. I have a family record of his life including a record of events when mauled by a lion in Africa after WWI. Noteworthy that he as the 1st West Australian to win the VC and only the 3rd Australian. I Will not supply any material without understanding any claim to be made on them. Based on experience with the AWM and the Battye Library, I will not supply anything if it means they then claim copyright ownership. Click Here for more detailed biography.

The VC awarded to Fred is owned by the WA Government and the WA museum have the medals secured in their warehouse, as no site is available for them to be on display. The Customs display at Fremantle (now in Customs staff canteen) is a replica of the medals.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Phil Watson, Montmorency VIC
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Nephew (by marriage)

Name of Descendant: Janet Elizabeth Parkinson, Duncraig WA
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Niece

Name of Descendant: Christopher John Mews, Claremont WA
Relationship to Ancestor: great nephew


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields