David Bell (VC)
County Down, Ireland
|Died||7 March 1920 (aged 74–75)
Gillingham, Kent, England
|Unit||24th Regiment of Foot|
|Battles/wars||Andaman Islands Expedition|
David Bell VC (1845 – 7 March 1920) was born County Down, Ireland (exact date of birth is unknown). Bell was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was approximately 22 years old, and a private in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later The South Wales Borderers), British Army during the Andaman Islands Expedition when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 7 May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman, eastern India, in the Bay of Bengal, Private Bell was one of a party of five (the others being James Cooper, Campbell Mellis Douglas, William Griffiths and Thomas Murphy) of the 2/24th Regiment, who risked their lives in manning a boat and proceeding through dangerous surf to rescue some of their comrades who had been sent to the island to find out the fate of the commander and seven of the crew, who had landed from the ship Assam Valley and were feared murdered by the cannibalistic islanders.
The VC was not awarded for bravery in action against the enemy, but for bravery at sea in saving life in storm off Andaman Islands. He later achieved the rank of sergeant, and died Gillingham, Kent, 7 March 1920.
Listed in order of publication year
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (1981, 1988 and 1997)
- Clarke, Brian D. H. (1986). "A register of awards to Irish-born officers and men". The Irish Sword XVI (64): 185–287.
- Ireland's VCs (Dept of Economic Development 1995)
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)