156081 Anthony Newton BELL, MC, 1 Irish Guards

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    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
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    Army Number: 156081
    Rank: Major
    Name: A N BELL, MC
    Unit: 1 Irish Guards
    GSM & Clasp: GSM, Palestine Clasp 1945 - 1948
    TNA Reference: WO 100/526
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
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    Name: BELL, Anthony Newton
    DOB: 26th May, 1920
    Place of Birth:
    The Times, 23rd November, 1943:
    "FORTHCOMING MARRIAGE: CAPTAIN A.N. BELL and Mrs E.C. Ingham. The engagement is announced between Captain Anthony Newton Bell, Irish Guards, second son of Mr and Mrs Frank Bell, of Stubb House, Winston, Darlington, and Pamela Mary Barrington, widow of Squadron Leader E.C. Ingham, R.A.F., and eldest daughter of Mr G.H. Barrington Chance, of Braydon Hall, Minety, Wiltshire, and the late Mrs Barrington Chance."
    Electoral Register:
    1953 - 1959, Trevor Street, London, S.W.7.
    Anthony N Bell
    Penelope M Bell
    BELL A N.png
    Died: 15th September, 2016

    Army/Personal Number: 156081
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Regiment/Battalion: Irish Guards, 1st Battalion

    Field Returns:
    W/S Lieutenant Bell A. N. 1Bn North Africa Field Return W/E 19 June 1943
    136051 W/S Lieutenant Bell A. N. 1Bn North Africa Field Return W/E 26 June 1943

    Lieutenant Bell A. 1Bn, Support Company Mortars Italy
    Lieutenant Bell T. 1Bn, Support Company Carriers Italy

    Army Casualty List (WO 417):
    156081 Lieutenant (Acting) Bell, A N 1943-44 Irish Guards
    156081 Lieutenant (Acting) Bell, A N 1943-44 Irish Guards
    The Times Casualty List: published 28 Mar 1944: - Wounded W/Lieutenant Bell A. N.

    Gallantry Award/Honour: Military Cross
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Italy

    TNA Link: Recommendation for Award for Bell, Anthony Rank: Lieutenant Service No: ... | The National Archives

    "24th Guards Brigade, 1st British Division, 6 American Corps
    P/156081 Lieutenant Antony BELL, 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

    This Officer commanded the Carrier Platoon in all the actions in which the Battalion was involved until he was wounded on February 11.

    Throughout the whole of this period, he was as tireless in his activity as he was outstanding for his skill and courage. Apart from fighting, the Carrier Platoon was constantly employed to bring up supplies and ammunition and to evacuate wounded from dangerously exposed places.

    This Officer lead all these parties himself, and by his initiative and example ensured that no position was left without supplies and that no wounded man was left untended longer than was humanly possible.

    On the night attack January 29 / January 30 Lieutenant BELL went forward on foot with No. 4 Company to their objective, the area CLO 873364. The area was still infested with German snipers and Machine Gun posts which had been by-passed during the night. Lieutenant BELL made his way back together with Major H.L.S. YOUNG across the open country, under close and heavy S.A..A fire, collected his Carrier Platoon and brought them up to clear the area behind No. 4 Company's position. This he did most successfully.

    When, owing to the impossibility of getting up supporting arms to ? the two forward company withdrew to a new position, Lieutenant BELL covered them through, and then himself went round to the left flank to No. 3 Company to engage the enemy in area of VALLELU Farm, where fighting a dismounted action they engaged and destroyed enemy snipers and Machine Gun post.

    When on February 4th the Battalion took up position in the area of the caves and "Carrier Farm", the Carrier Platoon was ordered to hold "Ration Farm". This was an exposed by dominant position, and the platoon was subjected to constant artillery and Machine Gun fire. Lieutenant BELL held this position for a week, during the whole of which time he acted as Artillery Forward Observation Officer. He installed himself in an upper room of the farm house and there totally disregarding the enemy fire, calmly directed our guns on to any enemy formations. The house was hit several times and was an obvious target, but since it was the only vantage point in the whole area, Lieutenant BELL, with great devotion to duty and total disregard for the inevitable consequences to himself, continued to man this post personally and by his accurate observation and skilful direction broke up at least two attempts of the enemy to advance down the axis of the main road.

    On the morning of February 11th an 88 m.m. shell coming through the window, exploded in the room, killing two Americans who were there and wounding Lieutenant BELL seriously.

    This Officer inspired the greatest devotion and enthusiasm among the men under his command. HIs great personal gallantry, remarkable example of devotion to duty and outstanding initiative, merit in my opinion, the award of the Military Cross.

    Signed C.A. Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS"

    BELL AN 1.png BELL AN 2.png
    Campaign Medals:

    Medal Roll Details:
    BELL, MC A N Major 156081 1st Bn. Irish Guards Palestine Clasp 1945 - 1948 WO 100/526
    BELL, MC A N Temporary Major 156081 1st Bn. Irish Guards Palestine Clasp 1945 - 1948 WO 100/526

    War Diaries: War Diary: 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS, September 1939 - July 1944
    Archive Files: WO 417, WO 100/526
    Publications: IG History, pgs 289, 290, 322, 323
    War Memorial:
    Irish Guards: Gallantry Awards & Honours - WWII Open Resource Group
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  5. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    Great post D :salut:
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    Thanks both
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    From IG Journal, 1969

    Officers, 3rd Battalion, Hoffnungstal, 1946.

    Back Row: Lieut. C.J. Atkins, Capt. W.E. Crowder, Capt. F.S. Collin, Lieut. R.D.C. Bacon, Lieut. C.R. Robertson

    Centre Row: Capt. C.W.D. Harvey-Kelly, Capt. R.B.H. Ingleby, Lieut. A.L. Samuelson, Capt. D.E.J. Radcliffe, Lieut. W. Moore, MC

    Front Row: Lieut. J.E. Russi, Capt. A.N. Bell MC, Major A.P. Dodd, Capt. K.G. Darrell-Rew, Lieutenant Colonel D.H. FitzGerald DSO, Major B.O.P. Eugster DSO, MC

    Sitting: Lieut. E.D.D. Ryder, Lieut. P.N.H. Fawcett, Capt. J.E.C. Lewis-Crosby, Lieut. P.H. Filmer-Sankey, Lieut. J.A. Aylmer, Capt. Lord Plunket, Capt. (QM) R. Hastings, Lieut. R.H.S. O’Grady MC

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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    Personal Number: 156081
    Rank: Captain
    Name: Anthony Newton BELL
    Unit: Irish Guards

    London Gazette : 19 November 1940
    The undermentioned Cadets, from 161st, 162nd, 164th, 16sth and 167th Officer Cadet Training Units, to be 2nd Lts. 2nd Nov. 1940:—
    I. G'ds
    Anthony Newton BELL (156081).

    London Gazette: 21 December 1944
    War Office, 21st December,. 1944.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy: —
    The Military Cross.
    Lieutenant Anthony Newton Bell (156081), Irish Guards (Darlington).

    London Gazette : 16 August 1946
    I. G'ds.
    2nd Lt. {War Subs. Capt.) Anthony Newton BELL, M.C. (156081) from Emerg. Commn. to be Lt., 17th Aug. 1946, with seniority, 26th Dec. 1942.

    London Gazette : 7 September 1946
    Gren. Gds.
    The undermentioned and Lts. (War Subs. Lts.), from.Emerg. Gorninns., to be Lts., 7th Sept. 1946, with seniority as shown:—
    I. Gds.
    2nd Lt. (War Subs. Lt.) Anthony Newton BELL, M.C. (156081), from Emerg. Commn., to be Lt., 17th Aug. 1946, with seniority 26th Nov. 1942. (Substituted for the notifn. in Gazette .((Supplement) dated 16th Aug. 1946.)

    London Gazette : 17 June 1947
    I. G'ds.
    Lt. (War Subs. Capt.) A. N. BELL, M.C. (156081), to be Capt., 26th May 1947.

    London Gazette : 13 January 1953
    Capt. A. N. BELL, M.C. (156081), retires receiving a gratuity, 16th Dec. 1952, and is granted the hon. rank of Maj.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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    The Guards Magazine

    Major Tony Bell MC
    Late Irish Guards

    Major Tony Bell, who has died aged 96, was awarded an MC in Italy in 1944 during fierce fighting in the Anzio beachhead.
    On 4th February 1944 Tony was serving with 1st Battalion Irish Guards and in command of the carrier platoon. He was ordered to hold a farmhouse which was in a very exposed position and his platoon came under constant machine gun and artillery fire.

    He held this position for a week and throughout this period he acted as the forward observation officer for the artillery. He installed himself and his wireless set in an upper room in the house and, calmly disregarding the incoming fire, directed the Allied guns on to the enemy formations.

    The house was the only vantage point and an obvious target. It was hit several times, but despite the almost inevitable consequences, he continued to man this post and broke up several German attempts to advance down the main road.

    On the morning of 11th February, an 88-mm shell came through the window and exploded in the room. It took the roof off, killed two American observation officers who were there and seriously wounded Tony. The citation for the award to him of an MC paid tribute to his gallantry. ‘This officer’, it stated, ‘inspired the greatest devotion among the men under his command’.

    Always known as Tony, in 1940 he was commissioned into the Irish Guards and joined the 1st Battalion in North Africa in 1943 at the end of the campaign. He landed on the Anzio beachhead in January 1944. Apart from fighting, his carrier platoon was constantly involved in bringing up ammunition and supplies and in evacuating the wounded from dangerously exposed places. During a night attack on 29th January, he went forward on foot with a company of 1 IG. It was subsequently discovered that the area was still infested with snipers and machine gun posts that had been by-passed in the dark. He therefore went back across open country under intense fire to collect his platoon, and they engaged the snipers and Spandau posts and cleared the whole area of enemy.

    After he was wounded, he was given the last rites by a priest at the forward dressing station. He was transferred to a hospital in Naples and, after being repatriated, he was moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

    Following a spell as an instructor at Sandhurst and a return to regimental duty in Germany, he served in Palestine from 1947 to 1948. He commanded the guard of honour for the visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to the Royal Tournament at Olympia and for the visit of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to Buckingham Palace.

    In 1950, Bell commanded the troops in the Tower of London and, in 1952, after commanding a company of Irish Guards at Caterham, Surrey, he resigned from the Army. He worked at Lloyds of London until 1985.

    Settled in London, he enjoyed fishing and shooting. Aged 92, he caught his last salmon and, despite having two metal knee replacements, he played tennis until he was well into his eighties.

    Tony was admitted to hospital in November 2015. The consultants were astonished that he had survived for more than 70 years, despite the fact that shrapnel had lodged near his lungs and in many places in his body.

    Tony Bell married first, in 1951, Penelope Mary Sandberg; the marriage was dissolved. He married secondly, in 1968, Irina Kasterine, who predeceased him, and he is survived by a son from his first marriage and two daughters from his second. He died on 15th September 2016.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019

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