WWI Canadian Memorial Cross to Private Bell - DOW
(201318 PTE J.J.S. BELL). Naming is officially engraved. Original ribbon, near very fine. In its hardshelled case of issue, complete with its two original government condolence inserts. Accompanied a CD containing fourteen pages with copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records and Will. Footnote: John Johnson Stewart Bell was born on May 3, 1895 in Petrolia, Ontario, the son of John Johnstone I. Bell, B.A., and Selina Bell. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 95th Battalion on October 25, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Banker. The Battalion was raised and mobilized in Toronto, Ontario under the authority of G.O. 151, December 22, 1915. The Battalion sailed from Halifax on May 31, 1916 aboard the S.S. Olympic, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel R.K. Barker with a strength of 36 officers and 1,061 other ranks, including Bell, arriving in England on June 8th. Bell was transferred to the 1st Battalion on September 15, 1916 at Lower Dibgate and was taken on strength in France on the 16th. Two weeks later, he left for the 1st Canadian Entrenching Battalion on the 29th, arriving on October 2nd. Bell was with the Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) 1st Battalion in the French theatre when he was wounded on July 28, 1917, suffering a gun shot wound in the back. The entrance wound went through his spine, between the shoulder blades, with the exit wound going through his left lung. He was transferred to England and admitted to King George Hospital in London on August 1st, experiencing paraplegia to his legs and body, a fever of 102 degrees, laboured breathing, with his skin discoloured over the sacrum and spreading downward. He died of his wounds in hospital, on August 5, 1917 at the age of 22. He is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England, Grave IX. C. 5, the cemetery being owned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom, covering approximately thirty-seven acres. In 1917, an area of land in Brookwood Cemetery (originally The London Necropolis) was set aside for the burial of men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth and Americans, who had died, many of battle wounds, in the London district. This site was further extended to accommodate the Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War, and American, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French and Polish plots containing the graves of Allied casualties. There are also German and Italian plots where prisoners of war lie buried. Bell's Will states, "In the event of my death I give the whole of my property and effects to my mother". In addition to his worldly possessions, she received his Memorial Cross. Private Bell was documented as being eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, none of which are included here.