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Mark Sever Bell
Birth: May 15, 1843
New South Wales, Australia
Death: Jun. 26, 1906
Surrey, England

Ashanti Wars Victoria Cross Recipient. Bell was born in Australia but left the country in his infancy and does not appear to have had any further association with his birthplace. He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers of the British Army in June 1862 and was posted to India. He was assistant field engineer in 1866 in the Bhutan War and in 1868 in the Hazara campaign on the North-West Frontier. After ten years in India he returned to England in 1872 and soon joined the British expedition to Kumasi in what is now Ghana in West Africa. Kumasi is over 100 miles inland through thick forest and the expedition needed more than a single-file track for the troops with their weapons and supplies. The expedition had to hack a road through the jungle for the entire distance with numerous streams and rivers to be crossed requiring bridges including a 190-foot span for the Prah River. Fatigue, physical difficulties as well as disease began to take a severe toll on the troops. The first serious fighting began at the end of January 1874 about 20 miles south of Kumasi and the sappers were involved in the fighting. Bell was noted for his energy during the advance and at Ordasu just six miles from Kumusi he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his distinguished bravery, and zealous, resolute, and self-devoted conduct on February 4, 1874. Colonel Sir John McLeod, KCB of the 42nd Regiment witnessed Bell's gallant and distinguished conduct and considered that his fearless and resolute bearing, being always in the front, urging on and encouraging an unarmed working party of African labourers, who were exposed not only to the fire of the enemy, but to the wild and irregular fire of the native troops in the rear, contributed materially to the success of the day. By his example, he inspired his men to work under fire in the face of the enemy without a covering party. Exactly nine months later he was personally invested with the Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Bell joined the Indian Army Intelligence Branch in 1880 and in the next eight years carried out a number of expeditions that added to geographical knowledge. These journeys included northern China in 1882, south-western Persia in 1884, Mesopotamia and Armenia in 1885 to 1886 and western China and Kashgaria in 1887. He earned the first MacGregor Memorial Medal which was founded in 1888 in memory of Major-General Sir Charles MacGregor, the founder of the United Service Institute of India, `for the best military reconnaissance or journeys of exploration of the year'. He returned to England in 1889 and went on to half-pay in 1898 on the grounds of ill-health. He married twice, in 1875, to Angelina Helen Dickinson who died in 1879 and in 1890 to Nora Margaret Roger. There were two sons by his second marriage. (bio by: Anthony Staunton) 
All Souls Churchyard, South Ascot
Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough
Berkshire, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Sep 02, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7829547
Mark Sever Bell
Added by: Anthony Staunton
Mark Sever Bell
Added by: Victoria Cross Trust
Mark Sever Bell
Added by: Kevin Brazier
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Rest in peace old chap.
- derrick unwin
 Added: Jul. 28, 2015

- Tracey Reid
 Added: May. 15, 2015

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Jun. 26, 2014
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