Edward William Derrington Bell

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Edward William Derrington Bell
Batalla del río Almá, por Richard Caton Woodville.jpg
Depiction of the battle of Alma, by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.
Born (1824-05-18)18 May 1824
Essex, England
Died 10 November 1879(1879-11-10) (aged 55)
Belfast, Ireland
Buried St Mary's Churchyard, Kempsey
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Major General
Unit 23rd Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars Crimean War
Indian Mutiny
Awards Victoria Cross
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Légion d'honneur (France)
Order of the Medjidie (Ottoman Empire)

Major General Edward William Derrington Bell, VC, CB (18 May 1824 – 10 November 1879) was a British Army officer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was the son of General Edward Wells Bell and entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1838 at the age of 14. He joined the Army in 1842 and was posted to Canada. He was promoted to Captain in December 1848 and during the Crimean War was present at the Battles of Alma and Inkerman and the Siege of Sebastopol. [1]

He was 30 years old, and a captain in the 23rd Regiment of Foot (later The Royal Welch Fusiliers) during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 20 September 1854 in the Crimea, at the Battle of Alma, Captain Bell was the first to seize upon and capture one of the enemy's guns which was limbered up and being carried off. He moreover took over the command of his regiment, which he brought out of action, all his senior officers having been killed or wounded.[2]

He was also awarded the Legion of Honour by the French, and the Turkish War Medal. Posted to India during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, he was present at the Siege of Lucknow. After India, he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers for the next 12 years until 1872, achieving the rank of Major General in 1868. His last command was in Belfast, where he died in 1879.

He is buried with his father in the churchyard at Kempsey, Worcestershire. He had married twice;firstly Alice Brooke, whom he divorced, and secondly Charlotte Wadsworth (née Bartell), widow of surgeon John Davies, with whom he had a son and 3 daughters.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum (Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales).


  1. ^ "Edward William Derrington Bell VC, CB". THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 659. 

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