Second World War North West Europe and Malayan Emergency April 1949 Mention in Despatches group awarded to Staff Sergeant D.G. Bell, Royal Army Service Corps, formerly Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, who saw service with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry from October 1931 through to September 1944, and was present on continuous service out in India from February 1936 through to February 1944, during which period he was attached to the Indian Army Corps of Clerks from October 1941 through to his posting home. After a brief period of home service with the 4th D.C.L.I., when employed with the Regimental Police, he then transferred to the R.A.S.C. as a Clerk in September 1944 and saw service out in North West Europe from March 1945 through to the end of the war, and then remaining in Germany till September 1947. Posted out to Malaya in October 1947, he was there for the outbreak of the Malayan Emergency through to October 1950, during which period he was listed as ’seriously ill’ at the No.4 Casualty Reception Station Kamunting, Malaya in March 1949, and was then awarded a Mention in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in Malaya in the London Gazette for 8th April 1949.
Group of 5: 1939-1945 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal; General Service Medal 1918-1962, GVI 2nd type bust, 1 Clasp: Malaya, with Mention in Despatches Oakleaf; (S/5435822 S/SGT. D.G. BELL. R.A.S.C.), mounted swing style as worn.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with the following quantity of original documents and ephemera:
Soldier’s Service and Pay Book, issued to Bell on 19th November 1931. Covers now loose.
Regular Army Certificate of Service Red Book, lacking the cover, issued to Bell, dated 29th December 1952.
Group photograph of Bell and others, he is identified with an ‘x’ mark, front row far right, the reverse annotated: ‘Taken at Dinapore in December 1937 ‘x’ marks the body.’ At the time he was serving with the Dinapore Garrison Military Police.
Recipient’s Military Will Form, completed by him on 5th September 1941, when serving as a Corporal with the 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.
Military Vehicle Driver’s License, issued to Bell through to 25th Indian Divisional Headquarters Transport Section, Royal Indian Army Service Corps, dated 31st December 1943.
R.A.S.C. and A.C.C. Records Office letter to the recipient’s wife, Mrs. R.E. Bell, 2/20 Edward Street Parade, Birmingham, dated 5th March 1949, when the recipient was on service in Malaya, and informing her of the fact that her husband on service with the F.A.R.E.L.F. has been removed from the ‘seriously ill list’ at No.4 Casualty Reception Station Kamunting, Malaya.
A Great War No.1 Infantry Record Office York document relating to the recipient’s father, Lance Corporal (No.42045) George Bell, 2nd Yorkshire Regiment, and informing a lady, presumably the wife, that Bell has been killed in action on 6th November 1918. Bell is buried in Bettrechies Communal Cemetery.
Provenance: recently acquired from the family.
Dennis George Bell was born on 14th January 1913 in Smethwick, Staffordshire, and then emigrated to Canada where he worked as a farm worker. His father, Corporal George Bell, 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action during the Great War on 6th November 1918, only five days before the end of hostilities. Bell then subsequently followed in his father’s footsteps and attested for service with the British Army at Birmingham on 31st October 1931, joining as a Private (No.5435822) the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry at Bodmin on 5th November 1931. Having transferred from the Depot to the 2nd Battalion on 28th May 1932, he joined the battalion out at Gibraltar, and was appointed to Lance Corporal on 1st October 1932. In the period from June 1932 through to January 1935 he saw service as a Physical Recreation Instructor and Messing Corporal. Deprived of his Lance Corporal’s stripe and demoted to Private on 29th June 1934, Bell qualified as a Signaller in 1935, and having been posted home on 29th January 1935, joined the Depot on 9th April 1935, and served as an Orderly Room Clerk from April 1935 through to October 1935, but then returned to the 2nd Battalion on 14th November 1935.
Bell was then posted out to India to join the 1st Battalion from 7th February 1936, and was then employed as the Senior Store Officer’s Clerk at Dinapore from May 1936 to January 1938, and for a period was serving with the Dinapore Garrison Military Police as of December 1937. He was reclassified as a Battalion Clerk in 1938, and from January 1938 through to May 1941 was employed as an Orderly Room Corporal at Lahore.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War whilst still on service out in India, Bell was once again appointed to Lance Corporal on 26th November 1939, and was then appointed to Acting Corporal on 18th January 1941, and promoted to Corporal on 12th April 1941, and to Sergeant on 28th October 1941 on his being attached to the Indian Army Corps of Clerks, serving with the 25th Indian Divisional Headquarters Transport Section and stationed as Lahore.
Bell remained on attachment till posted home on 19th February 1944, being then posted to the 4th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on 19th March 1944, and employed with the Regimental Police from May to July 1944. Bell then transferred as a Sergeant to the Royal Army Service Corps on 27th September 1944, and employed as a Staff Clerk 3rd Class from 13th October 1944. Bell was present on operational service out in North West Europe from 3rd March 1945, and present on active service in Germany, where he remained post-war with the British Army on the Rhine until posted home on 5th September 1947.
Bell was then posted out to the Far East to Malaya from 28th October 1947, and with the outbreak of the Malayan Emergency in 1948, then saw active service during this campaign, being listed as ‘seriously ill’ at No.4 Casualty Reception Station Kamunting circa March 1949, he however recovered. Bell was then awarded a Mention in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in Malaya in the London Gazette for 8th April 1949. Advanced to Staff Clerk 2nd Class on 9th February 1950, and then to Chief Clerk on 3rd May 1950, he was posted home from 24th October 1950, and having reverted to the position of Clerk on 31st March 1951, was discharged on 6th January 1953. Confirmed as his full entitlement.