Private David Bell VC

Bell was born in County Down in 1845, and died in Gillingham, Kent on 7th Mar 1920. He was in the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment serving in Burma when he won the VC for his act of bravery. He was later promoted to sergeant.

On 7th May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman in the Bay of Bengal, David Bell, with three other privates and Assistant Surgeon Douglas took a boat through dangerous surf to rescue 17 men who were trapped on a beach and in danger from the natives armed with bows and arrows. They made the difficult trip three times to achieve success. This was the last time that the VC was awarded to soldiers for risking their lives without the enemy being directly present.

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by Stephen Luscombe