The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (OCMCH)

Promoting historic links between Oxford Brookes University and the Methodist Church through archives, artworks, publications and research.

Archives & Library – Old Westminster College Student’s VC remembered


Lt Donald Bell died on 16 July 1916 on the Somme. Bell had been at Westminster College from 1908-11 and then became a school teacher at Starbeck Primary School and a professional footballer, playing for Bradford. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1914 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Green Howards in 1915. On 5 July at Horseshoe trench he captured a machine-gun nest, thereby saving many of his comrades’ lives. But five days later he died during a further engagement on the Somme. His grave is at Gordon Dump Cemetery in Albert, but a monument, called Bell’s Redoubt, is at Contalmaison, where he died. In 2010 the Professional Footballers’ Association bought his VC, which is now in their museum (

His VC citation can be found here


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This entry was posted on June 4, 2016 by and tagged .

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