SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
Rifleman JOHN W BELL.
C/12726, 21st Bn., King's Royal Rifle
who died, aged 23, on the 5th of June
Son of Joseph and Hannah Bell of 4 Dixon
St, Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorkshire.
Rifle House Cemetery, Nr Ypres, Belgium.
John W Bell is remembered on the Skelton War Memorial, Church plaque
and Stanghow Lane School memorial.
At the census of 1901 John W Bell, aged 8, and Joseph W Bell, aged 2,
are two brothers living at 4 Dixon St Skelton.
It seems likely that John was the one who died, as Joseph would have
only been 17 in 1916.
Although one casualty buried in the above cemetery was only 15 when he
Their father, Joseph, who worked in the Ironstone mines as a truck
trimmer, came from Skelton and their mother
Hannah from Normanby.
Rifle House Cemetery, located in the Ypres Salient and inside
Ploegsteert Wood, contains 229 U.K. burials, The name of the cemetery
was derived from a nearby building whose ruins remain to the present
This cemetery is named after a strongpoint which once stood in
Ploegsteert Wood; no trace of this now exists. Burials were made here
from November 1914, when the 1st Rifle Brigade buried their men in what
is now Plot IV, Rows E-J.
The 21st (Service) Battalion (Yeoman Rifles) was formed in
September 1915 from volunteers from the farming communities of
Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham,by the Northern Command.
In January 1916 it was ttached to 124th Brigade, 41st Division.
All units were concentrated near Steenwerck, and the Division began
familiarisation with trench warfare in the areas of Ploegsteert and the
Douve valley, south of Ypres, where the Division remained until August
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