George John Bell

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Sir George Bell
KCMG, DSO
George John Bell.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Darwin
In office
13 December 1919 – 16 December 1922
Preceded by William Spence
Succeeded by Joshua Whitsitt
In office
14 November 1925 – 7 July 1943
Preceded by Joshua Whitsitt
Succeeded by Enid Lyons
9th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
23 October 1934 – 19 November 1940
Preceded by George Mackay
Succeeded by Walter Nairn
Personal details
Born (1872-11-29)29 November 1872
Sale, Victoria
Died 5 May 1944(1944-05-05) (aged 71)
Tasmania
Nationality Australian
Political party Nationalist (1919–31)
UAP (1931–43)
Occupation Soldier

Sir George John Bell KCMG, DSO (29 November 1872 – 5 March 1944) was an Australian soldier and politician. Bell was born in Sale in the state of Victoria, and was the eldest son of George Bell and Catherine Bell, née Hussey. Bell was one of 15 siblings, including William R. Bell. He received his education in the outback of Victoria, and worked on his parent's farm, before joining the Victorian Mounted Rifles.[1]

Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War, Bell enlisted in Victorian Mounted Infantry as a private. Although travelling back to Australia after the disbandment of the Infantry, he returned to the war, joining the Victorian Mounted Rifles Contingent. He was commissioned as a lieutenant, but became severely injured in a battle in early 1902. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his services in the war.[1]

After the war, Bell returned to Australia, settling in the state of Tasmania. Upon the start of World War I, Bell enlisted for the Australian Imperial Forces, and was dispatched for training in Egypt. He served in Gallipoli and Sinai, and was promoted from the rank of lieutenant to captain, to major and finally, to lieutenant colonel. Given command of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Bell's most successful conquest was the capture of Es Salt, and the later successful evacuation of British troops from the stronghold. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in April, 1919.[1]

After his return to Australia, Bell married Ellen Rothwell on 5 November 1919. He became the Nationalist Party candidate for the Division of Darwin (Tasmania), and was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in the federal election of 1919. He remained in the post for 21 years (1919 – 1922 and 1925 – 1943), representing the Nationalist Party and its successor party, the United Australia Party. Bell was appointed the aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of Australia. Elected as chairman of committees to the House of Representatives, he became Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives in 1934. Appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1941, Bell retired from politics in 1943. Bell died from cardiovascular disease in Tasmania, and was buried in the Burnie Anglican cemetery, following a state funeral.[1]

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bell, William G. (1979). "Bell, Sir George John (1872 - 1944)". Australian Dictionary of Biography (Volume 7 ed.). Melbourne University Press. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Mackay
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
1934 – 1940
Succeeded by
Walter Nairn
Preceded by
William Spence
Member for Darwin
1919–1922
Succeeded by
Joshua Whitsitt
Preceded by
Joshua Whitsitt
Member for Darwin
1925–1943
Succeeded by
Enid Lyons