George Edward Bell was born June 13, 1884 at Roseville, Prince Edward Island, the son of George Washington Bell and Sarah Jane (Fitzgibbon) Bell. George had ten siblings: William, Bertha, Emma, Jessie, Marjorie, James, Zilpha, Lloyd, Herbert, and Laura. Around 1902 George moved to Revelstoke and at the time the war broke out he was an Engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The 1911 census noted that he lodged at a residence on Second Street. His sister Laura Bell (also known as Wylmarie) was a probationary nurse at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke.
George Edward Bell enlisted September 18, 1915 with the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders at Vancouver, British Columbia. He was 31 years of age, single, 5’9 ½” tall with brown hair and brown eyes. His religious faith was Presbyterian and he had been medically examined in Revelstoke by Dr. W.H. Sutherland. The September 29, 1915 edition of the local newspaper noted that he was one of a number of recruits who marched off to the train depot where a large crowd had gathered to say their farewell. The December 29, 1915 edition notes that George was one of a number of 72nd Battalion soldiers who had returned to the city for Christmas. The April 1916 edition of the local newspaper noted that George was one of a number of 72nd Battalion soldiers spending time in Revelstoke visiting their many friends.
George died April 9, 1917 during the battle for Vimy Ridge. He was 32 years of age. At the time of his death he was a Sergeant with ‘D’ Company, 72nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment. A memorandum from the Department of National Defence dated January 1923 noted that his body had been temporarily buried in a cemetery near Givenchy, France, but when it came time to move the body to a more permanent location it could not be identified. The decision was then made to memorialize George Edward Bell on the Vimy Memorial.
George’s brother, Herbert, also served in the Great War. Herbert’s grandson, Gordon Robinson, and his family, currently reside in Revelstoke.
George Bell’s name is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.