Arthur Campbell Bell
Serial No. 2597
58th Battalion & Australian Motor Transport Section
Arthur Campbell Bell - Information
Arthur was born in Picton c1893 to Matilda and Thomas Bell. When the war began, his family was living in Chatswood, and Arthur was in Landringham, working as a motor driver. He signed up for war service on the 23rd of May 1916 in Melbourne. He commenced his training at the 24th Depot Battalion at Royal Park. He then attended a Signal School in Broadmeadows, before being placed with the 5th Reinforcements, 58th Battalion on the 25th of September 1916. The same day, he departed Melbourne upon the HMAT Shropshire for war service.
The Shropshire sailed into Plymouth Harbour in November. Arthur was shuffled off the ship and marched out to the 15th Training Battalion. Arthur felt the monotonous life of army drill to be a bit ridiculous, breaking away from a parade in December. He was fined 3 days pay for his trouble. In February 1917, he proceeded to join his unit in France. He soon got a taste of modern warfare, in the chaos that unfolded when the Germans withdrew to their new fortified position, known as the Hindenburg Line. On the 20th of June, Arthur was appointed Lance Corporal, before participating in the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium. Here, the 58th Battalion successfully attacked the German line at Polygon Wood in September. On the 5th of November, while stuck in the mud in Flanders, Arthur reverted to Private at his own request. In the new year, he was granted ‘Blighty’ leave to England. However, he shortly reported to the 1st ADH in Bulford in March with venereal disease. Later that month, after he recovered, he was attached for duty at Tidworth Camp. In June, he was transferred to the Australian Motor Transport Section as a Motor Driver. Arthur remained in England after the war ended, transporting men and war material.