Alfred James Bell (MSM)


Alfred James Bell (MSM)


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Serjeant Major
Royal Engineers
Inland Water Transport


British War and Victory medals
Meritorious Service Medal


Spec. Memorial.
United Kingdom


>Not Researched

UK Memorials

St Matthew’s Church Memorial, Oxhey, Not on the Bushey memorials

Pre War

Alfred James Bell, born in Poplar in 1889, was the son of Allan and Mary Ann Bell in a family of five children, two of whom died during childhood. Both Alfred and his father were employed as railway clerks. 1911 Census records the family was living at 157 Malmesbury Road in Bow, London.

In 1911 Alfred was transferred to the Staff Section and spent 12 months on the staff of the District Superintendent at Liverpool, then returning to Euston.

Alfred Married Lillian Edith Gidney, the daughter of William Arthur Gidney on 18th August 1915 in the Parish of St Mary, Stratford Bow, London, Middlesex.  At the time of his enlistment they were living at 53 Rudolph Road, Bushey, Herts.

Wartime Service

Alfred enlisted in Whitehall, London on 15 November 1915 at the age of 26. Posted to the Royal Engineers Railway Troops, Inland Water Transport Section at Longmore Camp, as a Sapper with the service number formerly 138128 and then WR/501652, he reached the rank of Sergent Major.

He was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch on 7th November 1917.

He died on 24 February 1919, aged 29 of Pneumonia which he contracted whilst travelling back from France, due to the cold weather and living under canvas while waiting to be shipped back to the UK.

He was buried in Bushey churchyard, where he is commemorated on a Commonwealth Grave Commission gravestone. His wife, Lilian Edith Bell, later moved to 13 Park Road, Bushey.

He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), a silver medal given for distinguished service or for gallantry, principally to non-commissioned officers.

Additional Information

The value of his effects were £ 28, War Gratuity which went to his father Allan Bell. Information provided with kind permission of Bushey First World War Commemoration Project – Please visit


Stuart Osborne
Dianne Payne -, Jonty Wild,