Lieutenant Frederick William Bell

West Australian Mounted Infantry

16th May 1901
Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson DSO VC

     Like our other colonies, Australia sent her contingents of gallant sons to answer the call of the mother-country in time of need, a silent and grim reminder to those who talk of England's isolation. Among the Australian contingent was Lieutenant Bell, and at Brakpan, on May 16, 1901, he was with his company holding the right flank during a sharp encounter with our mobile enemy. When obliged to retire, Bell saw a trooper, dismounted and in imminent danger, owing to the heavy fire poured on all within range. Turning back, he took the man up on his horse, but the double weight was more than the poor jaded animal could bear, and, before it had carried them many yards, it fell, and thus left both men in jeopardy. Without a thought for his own safety, Bell ordered the  trooper to escape as best he could, he meanwhile, keeping up a sharp fire on the enemy, held them in check and covered the man's retreat. The Victoria Cross was
presented to him in London on July I, 1902, by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.

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