Captain H. Brooke Bell, MC, BMMV (I),MiD
SAC 1908-1915


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.). 

  • 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 September 1917. 
  • To No. 81 Squadron, 14 August 1917; 
  • To France in October 1917. 
  • To No. 66 Squadron, 13 October 1917; 
  • To Italy in December 1917. 
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:
  • 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, Mosciagh
  • 3 May 1918 - D.III in pieces, Ormelle
  • 10 May 1918 - D.III crashed and burned, M. Eatta.
  • 1 July 1918 - Pfalz crahed, Coma Vezzena
  • 4 July 1918 - Pflaz in pieces, west of Asiago
Military Cross
"For conspicuous 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
Bronze Military Medal for Valour (Italy)
During 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 class.
Awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 November 1918.
Mentioned in Dispatches