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John Coates Bell


John Coates Bell was born in 1879, the only child of George Benjamin and Jane Bell. John’s mother’s maiden name was given as Coates. He was baptised on November 26, 1879 in the new parish of Vauxhall. The family were then living at Rose Cottage, Green Lane, in Seaforth and George was employed as an Italian Warehouseman.

Early Life

At the time of the 1881 Census, when John was around 18 months old, the family were still living at Green Lane. George (aged 34) gave his occupation as Merchant. George gave his place of birth as Market Rasen, in Lincolnshire and his wife Jane had been born in Clones, in County Monaghan, Ireland.

In 1891, John and his mother were living at 45 Village Street in Everton, with Amelia J. Hall, Jane’s widowed mother, Amelia J. Hall (aged 59), Jane’s brother, Louis F. Hall (aged 23), son of Amelia, and a boarder Charles Bradshaw, who worked as a Cordial Maker. Jane was recorded as married, but George was not living with them.

By the time of the 1901 Census, John had begun his career as a School Teacher. He was now living at 29 September Road, in West Derby, alongside his mother, grandmother and uncle. Also living with them was a boarder, Samuel Hanks (aged 62), also a School Teacher.

At the time of the 1911 Census, John and his mother were living on their own at 49 Townsend Lane, in Liverpool. John recorded that he was employed as a Certified Teacher by Bootle Education Committee. October 27, 1914, John became a member of the King’s Masonic Lodge, in Liverpool. The following year, he married Flory Crawshaw (aged 28).

Chester College

John attended Chester College in 1908.

Military Service

John enlisted in Bootle with the 2nd/7th Battalion of the King’s Liverpool Regiment in February 1916. John, as Private 6062, was posted to the 44th Provisional Battalion, which was based in Ramsgate on the south coast in 1916. John and his comrades would have been used to guard port facilities, railways, and important road junctions. All essential tasks in war, but not needing men who were judged fit for front line service. It was while he was engaged in his duty that he met his death.

Lest We Forget

John was buried in Bootle Cemetery. As he did not serve overseas, he was not entitled to any campaign medals. He is commemorated on the Liverpool Masonic War Memorial.