H. Brooke Bell, MC, BMMV (I),MiD
Captain Hilliard Brooke Bell was
born on March 9, 1897 in Chatham, Ontario, son of Mrs. Sarah Bell. After
studying at St. Andrew's College from 1908-1915, he attended the University
of Toronto (Osgoode Hall) where he served one year in the Canadian Officer
Training Corps (COTC).
He was still a student when,
on May 23, 1916, at the age of 19 years and 2 months, he enrolled as a
Gunner in the 67th (University of Toronto) Overseas Depot Battery of the
Canadian Forces Field Artillery (see Attestation Papers below.).
See University of Toronto Rolls
of Service. Hilliard was credited with 10 enemy aircraft destroyed and
so was considered an Ace. He became a lawyer and appointed a KC (King's
Counsel) in 1935. He died September 16, 1960.
NOTE: A biography of
him by Harry Creagen was published in an early issue of the Journal of
the Canadian Historical Society, and a 15-page memoir is included in the
Creagen Papers (National Aviation Museum). His victory list is as follows:
Commissioned in Canadian Field
Artillery, November 1916
Trained as a pilot as Camp Borden,
spring of 1917;
Commissioned in Royal Flying
Corps, 23 July 1917;
Graded as Flying Officer, 15
To No. 81 Squadron, 14 August
To France in October 1917.
To No. 66 Squadron, 13 October
To Italy in December 1917.
4 February 1918 - Offensive
Patrol, 8,000 feet, 12.50 p.m. - one Albatross D.III in flames ½
mile SW of San Giacomo.
6 February 1918 - Aviatik two-seater
crashed SE of San Giacomo aerodrome.
16 March 1918 - Berg or D.III
driven down out of control south of La Parade.
19 March 1918 - D.III crashed
SE corner of San Giacomo aerodrome.
23 April 1918 - D.V in flames,
3 May 1918 - D.III in pieces,
10 May 1918 - D.III crashed
and burned, M. Eatta.
1 July 1918 - Pfalz crahed,
4 July 1918 - Pflaz in pieces,
west of Asiago
gallantry and devotion to duty. He destroyed five enemy machines and drove
down one out of control. He is a very fine patrol leader and an excellent
officer. His work is thoroughly good, all round."
MC citation, London Gazette,
16 September 1918
Military Medal for Valour (Italy)
World War I, the Medal for Military Valour (Medaglia al Valore Militare)
was awarded to military personnel for exceptional valour in combat. For
each subsequent act of valour, the recipient was awarded a bar in the corresponding
per London Gazette dated 2 November 1918.