1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Anthony Bell West

Contributed by: Gwynneth Hauxwell, on 2008-11-11

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First Name Anthony Bell
Surname West
Year of Birth 1890
Year of Death 1918
Regiment Durham Light Infantry
Place of Wartime Residence Kelloe, Durham

Anthony Bell's Story

My Grandad was killed just a few days before the Armistice. He wasn't fighting- just clearing mines from the road. He shouldn't even have been there as he should have been in the cook house. He was just 28 years old, the same age as my youngest son is today. My father never forgot the day the telegram boy came on his bicycle with the awful news. I always felt very proud to be given the task of cleaning the brass plaque that stood on the mantlepiece, and loved to read the inscription, "He died for freedom and honour". I don't think my own father saw it that way. And right to the end of his life, at 95 years of age, he still felt cheated by the "War to end all wars". When our own boys were young, we went on holiday to France, and we all visited the small, quiet cemetry near Cambrai where my Grandad's grave stands. It was a very special experience, and I felt a real connection to this young man whose blood runs through my veins. I am proud of him and of his sacrifice, and I feel sad that he never got to grow old.

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