838236 Pte. James Bell was born on August 17th, 1892, in Osprey Township, Grey County, Ontario.

Moving to the town of Owen Sound, he was married and working as a woodworker when hostilities broke out. A six year veteran of the 31st Regiment, James attested to the 147th Battalion on December 6th, 1915 and was assigned to "B" Company.

Billeted locally over the winter the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

In September 1916 the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th 1916 on the S.S. Olympic.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion. On March 7th, 1917 James was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. in a draft of reinforcements after the Somme and the build up for the Battle of Arras, 1917. He served with the unit at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and later as the Canadian Corps pushed out onto the Douai Plan.

On June 5th, 1917, as the Battle of Arras was coming to a close, James was evacuated suffering from shell shock. He would return to the 4th C.M.R. for a short while before being transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps, where he was awarded a Good Conduct Badge.

On February 2nd, 1919, Pte. James Bell was Struck off Strength of the 4th C.M.R. He passed away on March 30th, 1964, at the age of 71 and lies at rest in Greenwood Cemetery, in Owen Sound, Ontario.

Biography details credit: George Auer