Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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31237   Private Thomas Bell
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 02/09/1896
Died: 28/09/1917 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 21
Summary      
Thomas Bell was the second son of James and Mary Bell. Thomas was born on 2nd September 1896 in the Coagh area. He was one of eleven children, seven surviving. All were born in the Coagh area. Sometime between 1907 and 1911 the family moved to Cookstown. Thomas worked as a weaver. Thomas Bell enlisted with the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Glasgow in January 1917. Private Bell was seriously wounded in September 1917 and was taken to hospital in Vuerne and died of his wounds there on 28th September 1917.
Private Thomas Bell
Further Information
Thomas Bell was the second son of James and Mary Bell. James Bell married Mary Teaney on 3rd May 1890 in the district of Cookstown.
Thomas was born on 2nd September 1896 in the Coagh area. He was one of eleven children, seven surviving. All were born in the Coagh area.
Known family: James Bell, Mary Bell, Sarah Bell (born 22nd January 1891), James Bell (born 25th August 1892), Matilda Tillie Bell (born 19th August 1894), Thomas Bell (born 2nd September 1896), Annie Bell (born 4th September 1898), Joseph ‘Marcus’ Bell (born 26th July 1900, died 14th October 1904), Hugh Robert Bell (born 24th April 1902), Mary Bell (born 4th April 1905), Willie Bell (born 19th March 1907).
The 1901 census lists Thomas as age 4, living with the family at house 17 in Mullaghwotragh, Munterevlin, in the Ardboe area. His father was a labourer.
Sometime between 1907 and 1911 the family moved to Cookstown.
The 1911 census lists Thomas as age 14, living with the family at house 32 in Gortalowry, Cookstown. Three of the family was now working as weavers, one as a winder. Thomas was a weaver.
Thomas Bell enlisted with the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Glasgow in January 1917.
Medal card
His brother James Bell had previously been wounded and returned to the Western Front.
Private Bell was seriously wounded in September 1917 and was with his close friend Private Francis Hampsey when he fell.
Private Thomas Bell was taken to hospital in Vuerne and died of his wounds there on 28th September 1917.
In his will, Tommy Bell left all to his father, who was living in Chapel Street, Cookstown.
Last Will and Testament of Private Thomas Bell - not dated
In the event of my death, I leave all that I have to my father, James Bell, Chapel Street, Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland. Signed 31237 Private Tommy Bell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Private Thomas Bell is buried at Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Private Francis Hampsey survived the war and returned to Cookstown. His elder brother James Bell also survived the war.
Thomas Bell is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph.
The CWGC record Private Thomas Bell as the son of James and Mary Bell of Chapel Street, Cookstown, County Tyrone.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Letteran Lissan Worked for Mr Bayne, Letteran 54.711482 -6.748156
2 Chapel Street, Cookstown Cookstown Central CWGC lists parents at Chapel Street 54.641310 -6.744980
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Bell family 1901 census lists Thomas as age 4 at house 17 in Mullaghwotragh, Munterevlin, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Bell family 1911 census lists Thomas as age 14 at house 32 in Gortalowry, Cookstown TO BE CONFIRMED
3 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private Thomas Bell's grave
4 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Private Thomas Bell
5 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
6 Townlands.ie Census suggests they lived in Mullaghwotragh, Ardboe
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Thomas Bell's grave cannot be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021