I have written about the men and nurses of Concord New Hampshire who served in various branches of the U.S. military during World War I. In this article I will focus on Herbert H. Bell. He was born 5 May 1887 on 5 May 1887 in Ellenburg, Clinton Co., New York, son of Peter & Sophia (Lafontaine) Bell. Peter Bell died in 1899 and his wife Sophia remarried in 1909 to Henry “John” Rollo. Herbert H. Bell had siblings: Irwin, Ella, Cora, Augustus, Fredrick and William.
Herbert H. Bell completed his WWI Registration form in Lowell MA where he was living at 532 Middlesex Street. He was a carpenter employed by the B&M Railroad at Billerica MA. He was single and mentioned he had served as a Sergeant in the Infantry for 3 years in the NH National Guard. He describes himself as being tall, of medium stature with brown eyes and light hair. The US Adjutant General Military Records of Vermont state he enlisted 10 February 1914 in Concord NH in the NH National Guard, Co. C, 1st NH Infantry. When WWI was declared that guard unit became Co. C 103rd Inf. and he served in this until until his death. He went overseas with the 103rd on Sept 27, 1917. The History of the 103rd infantry states that he was killed in action by shell fire on 20 July 1918 on a battlefield of France.
The Barre Daily Times (Barre, Vermont) 8 August 1918, page 4 “Sergt. Herbert H. Bell of Highgate, who was killed in France recently, was a non-commissioned officer with a Concord company of the New Hampshire National Guard at the time the war broke out and one of the first Americans to go across. A brother, Private Arthur Rollo, is a member of the 103d machine gun battalion in France and their mother, Mrs. Henry Rollo, lives in Highgate Springs.”
The NH Adjutant General’s List of Casualties includes his name, listing him as a Corporal rather than the Sergt shown on his tombstone. When the war ended his remains were returned to the United States. He is buried in Highgate Center Cemetery, Highgate Center VT.
[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I. Look here for the entire listing].