Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

27th May1918

Ralph Bell, C Social 1905. Captain, 98th Sqn, Royal Air Force

Killed in action in an unknown engagement

The death of Ralph Bell was one of the very few missed by the Radleian Society recorders during WW1.  Consequently, he is not named on Radley’s war memorial.

The last entry for him in the Radley Register published in 1923 simply stated that he left the school in 1907.  This entry was reprinted in 1962.  In the 1980s, the Radleian Society was planning an updated version of the Register and so conducted extensive research into those ORs with whom they had lost contact over the years.  A handwritten note in the Archivist’s annotated copy of the 1962 register updated the information on Ralph Bell:

‘Went to Canada; 1st W Ontario Regt, and 98th Sqn RFC; Captain; married. Died on active service in France 27th May 1918’.

Aged 27

AND

George Coote, A Social 1910, Lt, 50th Bn, Machine Gun Corps

Killed in action 2nd Battle of the Aisne

He was a School Prefect who played for the Cricket XI.

He obtained a commission In the Royal West Kents in December, 1914. and later on was transferred to the M.G.C. In July 1917, he was wounded and came back to England. He returned to France in April, 1918, and was killed in action May 27th, 1918. The news of his death will be a great grief to many Old Radleians. He was of a retiring nature, but his was a character,- like that of his great friend, Rupert ffolkes, – of which the very simplicity commanded admiration.

His best friend, Rupert ffolkes, was killed on 30th December 1917.  Richard Coote, George’s older brother, was killed in action at the Battle of Hulluch on 13th October 1915. Their eldest brother, Peter, was badly wounded in 1917.

He is recorded on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne

Aged 22

Captain Ralph Bell remembered on the Arras Flying Memorial. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Lt George Coote