Eric Norman Frankland Bell
|Eric Norman Frankland Bell|
28 August 1895|
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1 July 1916 (aged 20)|
|Years of service||1914 - 1916|
|Unit||9th Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers|
|Battles/wars||World War I - Battle of the Somme|
Eric Norman Frankland Bell VC (28 August 1895 – 1 July 1916) was an Irish 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 20 years old, and a Temporary captain in the 9th Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, British Army, attached to Light Trench Mortar Bty. during the First World War, and was awarded the VC for his actions on 1 July 1916, at Thiepval, France, and which led to his death.
For most conspicuous bravery. He was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery, and advanced with the Infantry in the attack. When our front line was hung up by enfilading machine gun fire Captain Bell crept forward and shot the machine gunner. Later, on no less than three occasions, when our bombing parties, which were clearing the enemy's trenches, were unable to advance, he went forward alone and threw Trench Mortar bombs among the enemy. When he had no more bombs available he stood on the parapet, under intense fire, and used a rifle with great coolness and effect on the enemy advancing to counter-attack. Finally he was killed rallying and reorganising infantry parties which had lost their officers. All this was outside the scope of his normal duties with his battery. He gave his life in his supreme devotion to duty.
The Victoria Cross awarded to Bell was held by members of his family since it was awarded. Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt, stepson of the owner of the Cross, offered the cross to the Royal Irish Regiment. It was presented to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Museum in February 2001
- "No. 29765". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 June 1915. pp. 9417–9418.
- Bell, Eric Norman Frankland, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- "Eric Bell's Victoria Cross donated to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Museum", victoriacross.org.uk
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (1981, 1988 and 1997)
- Clark, Brian D. H. (1986). "A register of awards to Irish-born officers and men". The Irish Sword. XVI (64): 185–287.
- Ireland's VCs ISBN 1-899243-00-3 (Dept of Economic Development, 1995)
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)