Friday, 16 August 2013

Johnna Bell comrade of the late William Stanley Plowright

Family Notices. (1918, November 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1422614

This notice appeared in The Argus of 2 November 1918.  It was inserted by the mother of William Stanley Plowright who had been killed at action at Lagnicourt, France.

John Bell's family had inserted a notice on 30 October:
Family Notices. (1918, October 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 1. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1442998
The roll of honour circular completed by his family states he was 25 years old when he died (Born about 1893).  He had been born in St Kilda and gone to school at High Street, Prahran.  His occupation was labourer.

The Australian War Memorial has a picture they believe to be of John Bell:
Australian War Memorial ID number DA11506
Photographer Darge Photographic Company
Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Broadmeadows
Date made c October 1915
Collection Photograph
Description
Studio portrait possibly of 1357 Private (Pte) John Bell, labourer, of Prahran, Victoria. Pte Bell enlisted in the 29th Battalion on 23 July 1915 and embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Ascanius on 10 November 1915. The Battalion remained in the Suez Canal area training until 16 June 1916 when they embarked for France and the Western Front. Pte Bell was killed in action on 30 September 1918 near St Quentin in the Somme area, France, aged 25 years. This is one of a series of photographs taken by the Darge Photographic Company which had the concession to take photographs at the Broadmeadows and Seymour army camps during the First World War. In the 1930s, the Australian War Memorial purchased the original glass negatives from Algernon Darge, along with the photographers' notebooks. The notebooks contain brief details, usually a surname or unit name, for each negative.
Permalink: http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DA11506

John Bell signed up with the Australian Imperial Force on 23 July 1915 and joined 2 August.  He was aged 22 years one month, unmarried and a labourer.  He arrived in Egypt in December 1915 and at Marseille in June 1916.  His service seems entirely to have been with the 29th Battalion. (National Archives of Australia: B2455, Bell John : SERN 1357 : POB Melbourne VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK F Bell George).

William Stanley Plowright had joined the AIF on 5 April 1915. He was aged 21 years 9 months, unmarried and a carrier or driver, who was training to be a printer.

William went to the Gallipoli peninsula from Alexandria on 30 August 1915.  While serving with the 24th Battalion, he was wounded at Anzac on 29 November 1915 and spent some months in hospital on Malta. He rejoined his unit in April 1916 and then later that month transferred to the 58th battalion.  He arrived in France on 29 June 1916.  He died 27 March 1917.

It seems that John Bell and William Plowright did not serve together.  They were the same age and presumably were friends from childhood.  Perhaps they met up while in Egypt and in France despite serving with different battalions.