The Bell family received a number of medals on the basis of the war service of both John Bells. Alas, these medals have been lost. However, we do know which medals they were entitled to. For serving in France before 1916 (before conscription was introduced in Britain), John Bell was entitled to the ‘1914-1915 Star’. For been wounded in action he also received the ‘Silver Wounds Badge’. Both father and son were entitled to the ‘British War Medal’ and the ‘Victory Medal’. These were awarded to all individuals who served in the armed forces and who were in a theatre of the war (France and Belgium in our families case). Each medal would have the name, number and regiment of the recipient (e.g. John Bell, 7177, R.D.F), except for the Silver Wound badge, which had a reference number. In addition, the family received a large, bronze disk, commemorating Jack’s death. Most of these awards were issued after their recipients had died. As such, there main value was to the surviving family members as momentos of their father and brother’s service and suffering. The father though probably received his ‘Silver Wounds Badge‘ and ‘1914-15 Star’ before he died.
Example of Commemorative Disk from the Great War.
The inscription reads ‘He died for freedom and honour’.