Personal info

  • Name: Frederick William BELL
  • D.O.B: 3rd April, 1875
  • D.O.A: 16th May, 1901
  • D.O.D: 28th April, 1954
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: West Australian Mounted Infantry

Brakpan, Transvaal, South Africa

16 May 1901

More details about:
The Second Boer War 

In May 1901 Sir Bindon Blood began a new campaign to clear commandos from the region south of the Delagoa Bay railway. Part of his force was a column commanded by Major General F W Kitchener and Lieutenant Colonel W P Pulteney, which included the 5th and 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry. On 13 May Kitchener and Pulteney set out south from Middelburg on the Delagoa Bay line along the course of the Klein Oliphant river. On 15 May five members of the 6th West Australians were killed. The following day, at Brakpan, ten miles north-east of Hendrina, the Boers, who were hiding amongst the tall grass growing in the marshy terrain, ambushed them again. Letting the leading scouts pass, they opened fire at close range on the main body of troops and then galloped after the retreating Australians. Lieutenant F W Bell gallantly rescued a man who had been unhorsed in the affray.

Citation

 At Brakpan on the 16th May, 1901, when retiring through a heavy fire after holding the right flank, Lieutenant Bell noticed a man dismounted and returned and took him up behind him. The horse not being equal to the weight fell with them, Lieutenant Bell then remained behind and covered the man’s retirement till he was out of danger. 

The London Gazette of 4 October 1901, Numb. 27362, p. 6481

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