THE VICTORIA CROSS GROUP AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL FREDERICK BELL, WEST AUSTRALIAN MOUNTED INFANTRY, A SECOND BOER WAR AWARD, HAS BEEN LOANED TO THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL IN CANBERRA.
16 July 2016


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Bell,
West Australian Mounted Infantry

  • Victoria Cross
  • Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
    • 4 clasps:
    • "Cape Colony" - "Johannesburg"
    • "Diamond Hill" - "Wittebergen"
  • King's South Africa Medal ( 1901-1902 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "South Africa 1901" - "South Africa 1902"
  • Africa General Service Medal ( 1902-1956 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Somaliland 1908-10"
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • King Edward VII Coronation Medal ( 1902 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )


The Frederick Bell Victoria Cross group was placed for sale at a Spink auction in Canada in 1984 and was purchased by the Government of Western Australia for historical reasons as Frederick Bell had been born in Perth the capital of the State of Western Australia in 1875. Since 1984 the Bell VC medal group has been lodged with the Western Australia Museum in Perth.

A decision has now been made to loan the Frederick Bell Victoria Cross group to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for a period of aound three years. The VC group has gone on display in the AWM's Hall of Valour.


For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 4th October 1901 ] Brakpan, Transvaal, South Africa, 16 May 1901, Lieutenant Frederick William Bell, West Australian Mounted Infantry.

"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."
Frederick Bell was invested with his Victoria Cross by the Prince of Wales ( the future King George V ) at Horse Guards Parade on the 1st July 1902.


Frederick Bell died in Bristol, England, on the 28th April 1954 and was buried in the city's Canford Cemetery.

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Iain Stewart, 16 July 2016