Sergeant Herbert John Bell, Royal Corps of Signals

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by CateLine, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. CateLine

    CateLine Junior Member

    Looking for any information on Sergeant Herbert John Bell of the Royal Corps of Signals. He received the Military Medal for his work in Albania. He worked with SOE agent Billy McLean. Thanks!
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  4. CateLine

    CateLine Junior Member

    Thanks so much! This is helpful. I'm particularly interested in his role in helping to rescue 30 stranded Americans, including 13 nurses.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    A forum member named Jedburgh (Steve) maybe able to help....He's quite clued up on SOE units etc.
     
  6. TijgerB

    TijgerB Member

    While transferring the biography of W. B. E. Pedersen for Bamboo I checked up on a few things in the Biography of Hans V. Tofte. He mention something about a rescue of nurses as I remember. I think I still got the book at home loan from the library so I will check up on it later.
     
  7. peaceful

    peaceful Senior Member

    Hello and welcome KateLine

    Chrissie :poppy:
     
  8. TijgerB

    TijgerB Member

    [FONT=&quot]So I am back again with a translation of a few lines from Hans V. Tofte biography which is in Danish:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"At that moment they were informed, that a plane with 25 American nurses on board had been attacked by German fighters and forced to make an emergency landing in the mountains on the border of Albania and Yugoslavia. Turner McBain and Robert Koch suggested that another plane was sent to pick them up, but Tofte was heavily against it and called it a suicide mission, because there were a lot of German anti-air guns in the area. Tofte was right, the plane come under fire and the pilot had to give up landing. After dropping supplies to the distressed it only barely made back. Then they had to make use of Toftes solution, which was to have the partisans help the nurses out to the coast, where they could be picked up by a gunboat.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Turner McBaine, who was on his way to Cairo, appointed an officer from the OSS Headquarter, Major Richard Weil, to lead the rescue mission with Tofte as XO. But when they were about to leave a few days later, Weil and Tofte had a quarrel. Tofte insisted on having Lieutenant John Hamilton with him instead of a desk officer. Tofte got it as he wanted and the nurses were rescued.”[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In a note it mention a book by Kirk Ford: OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance 1943-45 (Texas A&M University Press, 1984)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Hope it can help you a little.[/FONT]
     
  9. CateLine

    CateLine Junior Member

    Thanks for providing that. My understanding is that Capt. Lloyd Smith (OSS) and Gavan "Garry" Duffy (SOE) were the primary rescuers. I appreciate the information!
     
  10. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    John Hamilton was the American actor Sterling Hayden who served with the OSS
     
  11. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I believe Herbert John Bell died in 2001 - Could anyone with an Ancestry Account check? So I can do an FOI for his SOE P/F
     
  12. peteden

    peteden Member

    Jedburgh.
    only found this one on Findmypast site. Any Help?


    Peter





    Name: BELL, John Frederick H
    Registration district: [?] Cheltenham
    County: Gloucestershire
    Year of registration: 2001
    Month of registration: June
    Date of Birth:5 September 1909

    District no: 4791C
    Reg no: C62D
    Ent no: 095
    DOR: 601
     
  13. peteden

    peteden Member

    Jedburgh.
    Redifined search and came up with this one as well. Was registered in 2001.

    If not do you have there DOB and/or residence so can check further.
    Peter

    Name: BELL, Herbert
    Registration district: [?] Durham West
    County: Durham
    Year of registration: 2001
    Month of registration: October
    Date of Birth:13 February 1929

    District no: 4421C
    Reg no: C3D
    Ent no: 157
    DOR: 1001
     
  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    One would have been to old the other the name does not match - think it could have been he died in Australia
     
  15. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    One would have been to old the other the name does not match - think it could have been he died in Australia

    Hi Jedburgh - where does the Aussie link originate? Any other info?

    Depending on what you have maybe someone down under can help with further facts......
     
  16. CateLine

    CateLine Junior Member

    Thanks so much. Anthony Quayle was also there at the time this group was stranded in Albania. I haven't had any luck so far finding an obit for H.J. Bell, but I appreciate everyone's help!
     
  17. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Assuming the remark about him passing away in Australia is correct, then he most probably died in Sydney in 2001



    Service was conducted at Woronora Cemetery and Crematorium for
    HERBERT JOHN BELL on the 15 February 2001

    Service: Ashes

    Location: COLLECTED
     
  18. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I had a bit of a win today pursuing the possibility that the bloke who passed away in Sydney in 2001 was your man.

    First some background - I have had a few days off work due to a minor injury and I have been going stir-crazy. Today is the first time I have felt good enough to leave the house to run some errands and I had a couple of hours between appointments so I popped into the State Library of Queensland to check their newspapers on microfilm.

    I checked the death / funeral notices for the 14th to the 20th of February 2001 in the Sydney Morning Herald with no joy. Luckily one of the library staff took pity on me and tried the ryersonindex - I thought that site had shut down years ago but it is back better than ever.

    His funeral notice was placed in the other Sydney daily newspaper (which isn’t on microfilm in QLD). But above that is a reference to an obituary for Herbert Bell in the SMH and the resulting extract is attached.




    http://ryersonindex.net/search.php


    BELL, Herbert / Obituary 1919-2001 / Death - An ordinary hero / Sydney Morning Herald / 22MAR2001




    BELL, Herbert John / Death notice 15FEB2001 / Death / Aged 81 / late of Caringbah / Daily Telegraph (Sydney) / 17FEB2001



    Cheers



    Dave


    (PS - I notice that his awards entry on the Special Forces website lists his initials as H.G.)
     

    Attached Files:

  19. CateLine

    CateLine Junior Member

    Hi Dave,

    This is amazing! I can't believe you found him! I can't thank you enough for going to all this trouble! Hopefully now I can get in touch with his children and see his personnel record. Thank you and Jedburgh22 and Peteden so much for such wonderful assistance!

    I leave for Albania today and will be retracing much of the group's journey while I'm there. I'll post pics and updates on my public author Facebook account if you're interested. (Cate Lineberry | Facebook)

    Again, thanks so much for this information!

    Cate
     
  20. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Thanks Cate - I thought the Australian reference might have been a dud as I couldn't find a file for him at the National Archives of Australia to show his arrival as an immigrant.

    I suspect after reading the obit that because he originally arrived with the intention of being here only for a few years that he never officially migrated and therefore no reason for an arrivals file.

    AMENDMENT - I just found his incoming passenger details (see attached) - the date shown is the ship's arrival in Perth (Fremantle), it arrived in Sydney on the 9th of May 1949 after stopping in other ports.

    cheers & good luck in Albania


    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

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