“Understanding yesterday, for the benefit of  today and tomorrow”




© 2005-2018, 2019  All Rights Reserved Kibworth History Society and W.G.Weston

Bertie Pell, a hosiery winder, was born in Bedford in 1895, the son of George Pell, an asphater, and Emma, and was 19 years of age when he enlisted the Army Reserve at Leicester on 7th August 1914, Service Number 11458. He did Home Service with 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment until 17th January 1915. The following day, 18th January, he was transferred to 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, and posted to the British Expeditionary Force, France & Flanders, embarking Southampton.

He suffered gun shot wounds to the head on 12th March 1915 and was admitted to the Admin Field Hospital. He was very soon discharged, returning to the Front, where he suffered further gun shot wounds to his back and knee. He was admitted to Le Havre Hospital on 17th May 1915. Because of his injuries, he was repatriated to England aboard the Hospital Ship Anglia on 6th June 1915. Private Pell died on 26th June 1915. He was granted the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.   

Obituary from Market Harborough Advertiser,  6th July 1915



For the first time in the history of Kibworth a  military funeral has taken place in the village. On Thursday afternoon upwards of  2,000 people assembled in the streets and at the cemetery for the interment of Private Bertie Pell, aged 20, of the 2nd Leicesters, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Pell, of Fleckney Road, Kibworth. He passed away in Hospital in England last Saturday from injuries sustained in May while in the firing line. He had been previously wounded, in March, and recovering, went again to the front.  

The cortege was headed by a squad of 12 1st and 2nd Leicesters (all of whom had been wounded, etc., at the front), under the command of Sergeant-Major Read and Sergeant Sands, together with Bugler-Drummer Sharpe. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was borne by four of the deceased's chums. The chief mourners, in three coaches, were the father and mother, Eva, Elsie, and Lilly Pell (sisters), Leslie and Eddie Pell (brothers), Mesdames Neal, Spencer, and Miss Pell (aunts).    Following were the Kibworth Citizens' Corps, with Commandant White in command, and the Boy Scouts, under Patrol Leader Adams.

The first portion of the service was held in the Church, the 90th Psalm and hymn, "Fight the Good Fight," being sung by the choristers. Mrs. Phillips played "O, Rest in the Lord," and the "Dead March."

After the interment three volleys were fired, and the "Last Post" sounded. The Rector, the Rev. E. S. B. Fletcher, officiated. The floral tokens were numerous. The deceased was a chorister in the Parish Church, a Boy Scout, and a prominent footballer. He joined the colours in September last. He is the first  Kibworth Grammar School boy to lay down his life for his country.

Messrs. Johnson and Barnes, and R. H. Poynor and Co., closed down during the funeral, and the Grammar School scholars attended the service.

Bertie Pell is buried in Kibworth Cemetery. His is the sole Commonwealth War Grave from World War 1.  The plot reference is 806. Cap badge of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment

Private Bertie Pell