Project Description


Claude bell 2 copy ed

Photograph from Radcliffe Local History Society

Brother of Wilfred

Born 11th April 1896, Belgaum, India.

Baptised 20th May 1896 St Mary’s Church, Belgaum, India

Married 29th September 1920 to Mary Hanneffey at St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on Trent

Died 1967, age 70, buried in Radcliffe on Trent cemetery (L43, headstone)

1911 Census

Parents: John Bell (died 1930) and Ellen Bell (died 1938). Father was a regular soldier, pioneer Sergeant, in the East Yorkshire Regiment and several of his children were born while he was serving abroad. He returned to the UK around 1905. Seven children in family. Ida (born 1894, Egypt), Claude (born 1897, India), Wilfrid (born 1898, India), Marion (born 1900 Belgaum, India), Grace (born 1903, Madras, India), Doris (born 1906, Radcliffe on Trent) and Vera (born 1909, Radcliffe on Trent)

John Bell was an army pensioner and running a grocer’s shop in the Harlequin. Claude was working as a butcher.

Military Service

Rank: Private in WWI. He was a staff or colour sergeant in the 1920s (see his uniform in photo below)

Service Number: 17525

Military Unit:  1st Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, 64th Brigade, 21st Division

Theatre of war: France and Flanders, date of entry 30.6.15.

Served with the East Yorkshire regiment throughout the war and was posted to Ireland after November 1918.

From Forces War Records

During 1915, the 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment was involved in the action at Hooge (July).

26.11.1915 Transferred to the 64th Brigade of the 21st Division and continued to engage in various actions on the Western Front including in 1916 The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.

During 1917, the 1st East Yorkshires saw action at the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First and Third Battles of the Scarpe, The flanking operations around Bullecourt, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Second Battle of Passchendaele. The Cambrai Operations.

During 1918: The Battle of St Quentin, The First Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Messines, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Aisne 1918, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The Battle of the Selle.

11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Berlaimont.

Regiment was in Mullingar in 1919

Total Military Service: unknown. He continued to serve as a regular soldier after the war.

Medals Awarded: 1914-1915 Star, British War and Victory

Military Personnel Address on 1918 Electoral Roll

The Harlequin, Radcliffe on Trent

Other Information

Claude’s military record has not been found. Brief details above regarding rank and medals are from Medal Rolls Index Cards. He achieved the rank of sergeant, as shown in the photos by the three  stripes on the arms of his uniform. The photographs are undated.

The following information has been found about Claude Bell’s wife, Mary Hannaffey:

“Mary Hannaffey – Born Mullingar c 1896, met future husband Claude Henry Bell, British Soldier, East Yorkshire Military Unit, stationed in Mullingar c.1919-1920, returned with him to England.  They married Sept 29th 1920 in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottingham. On the wedding certificate she gives her place of residence as Ballymore, Ireland.

She had an older sister Margaret. Their father John Hannafy died while she was very young and her mother married a man called John Fahy (Fahey). They had several daughters, one called Julia and one son Matthew.  Matthew was still living in Mullingar at the time of Mary’s death c.1984.  Several of the sisters emigrated to America.


Photograph from
Photograph taken 1926

Father John Bell is listed in several Wrights Directories (1910 -1920) as a grocer, Bingham Rd.

From the 1922 Electoral Register

Address: The Harlequin, Radcliffe on Trent

Household: Claude and his parents on electoral register

From the 1939 Register

Address: 11 Hardwick Grove, West Bridgford

Employment: Bailiff at Nottingham County Court. Noted as army pensioner

Household: Living with wife Mary J, occupation domestic duties unpaid. Her date of birth is given as 1st January 1894.

Reasons for inclusion on Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour

Lived in Radcliffe on Trent with parents and siblings, buried in village.