Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 4, 1882
Place of BirthLiverpool, Lancashire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs L Bella, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingHarness Maker
Service Details
Regimental Number14432
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionFort Garry Horse
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Cavalry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 24, 1914
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 6, 1934
Age at Death52
Buried AtOcean View Burial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia
PlotFraser Section Lot 530 Space 3

Bella, Joseph Marshall

Joseph Marshall Bella was born on 4 April 1882 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. His father Joseph Marshall Bella, a saddler by trade, was born about 1844 in Caledon, County Tyrone, Ireland. Joseph Sr had married Louise Griffiths during the 3rd quarter of 1868 in the registration district of West Derby, Lancashire and together the couple had four children, Annie, Mary Ann, Louise Agnes, and Jane. After Louise’s death in 1877 Joseph married Annie Wardell during the last quarter of 1879 in Liverpool. Annie, born about 1851, was likely from North Shields, Northumberland. Joseph was their first born child followed by Marie Elizabeth (1884), John Louigrine (1886), Barbara Kotze (1888), Elsie Maquet (1890), Rachel Ferguson (1892).

At age 17 Joseph signed his first set of attestation papers in February of 1899 with the 3rd Liverpool Battalion, weighing all of 107 pounds. In March of 1900, at Warrington, he signed his second set of papers, with the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery. His occupation was given as saddler and collarmaker and present Militia the 5th Liverpool Battalion. Joseph served in South Africa from April of 1900 until May of 1901, and upon returning to England continued to serve until April of 1903.

On 29 July 1905 Joseph embarked from London aboard the Pomeranian, destination given as Montreal, occupation as saddler, and marital status as single. Although a marriage record could not be found it appears that Joseph married Elizabeth Louisa Tobin, likely in Quebec. Born in 1870 in Chorley, Lancashire, Elizabeth Louisa was the daughter of George Tobin, surgeon and apothecary, and Louisa Hilton who had married in 1867 in Croston, Lancashire. Elizabeth Louisa had previously been married to Charles Gill and the couple had five known children: William, Eleanor, Margaret, Doris, and James. Charles later married Joseph’s sister Marie Elizabeth Bella. According to her death record Elizabeth Louisa had arrived in Canada in 1905. Joseph and Elizabeth Louisa gave birth to their first child, daughter Irene Victoria, in St Gabrielle de Brandon in Quebec in 1907. The family then moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario where son Joseph M(arshall?) was likely born in 1908.

Joseph signed his WW1 attestation papers in Valcartier, Quebec on 24 September 1914 giving his wife Elizabeth Louisa back in Kenora as next of kin. His occupation was given as harness maker and previous military experience as 3 years 129 days with the Imperial Forces. Listed as Sergeant Shoe Joseph Marshall Bella on the nominal roll for the 6th Battalion, he was a member of the First Canadian Contingent which sailed from Canada as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade on the 3rd of October onboard the Lapland, arriving at Plymouth on the 14th. Training continued at West Down South Camp Salisbury Plain until the 15th of December when the battalion left the Brigade in order to convert back to the calvary role as the Depot for the Canadian Calvary Brigade. The battalion disbanded on the 22nd of January.

In January of 1915 Joseph was appointed Acting Pioneer Sergeant at Larkhill and then in early February as Acting Saddle Sergeant at Tidworth. In January of 1916 he was transferred to Fort Garry Horse and then the next month to the Canadian Calvary Depot where he was granted sick furlough from the 16th to the 26th. In July he was taken on strength with the Canadian Reserve Calvary Regiment as reinforcement, transferring back to the Canadian Calvary Depot in August. With the rank of Sergeant Joseph served with the Fort Garry Horse in France, taken on strength on 16 April 1918. In September he was in a number of facilities, suffering from influenza, and was granted a fourteen day leave to England in December in time for Christmas. In March of 1919 he was granted another leave to England where he stayed until embarking for Halifax aboard the Adriatic in late July. Also on board the ship were Joseph’s wife Elizabeth Louisa and children Irene and Joseph Jr who had moved to England near the beginning of the war.

A Kenora Miner and News article of 9 August 1919 reported that Joseph and his family had passed through the town on their way out to Vancouver where they intended to live. By 1929 Joseph was working for the British Columbia Provincial Police and was a detective at the time of his death. Daughter Irene became a graduate nurse and married Robert Douglas Bowes, chartered accountant, in 1932. They were to make Seattle their home where Irene died in 1998. Joseph Jr joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, serving in Dauphin, Winnipeg, and Kenora. From 1958 to 1961 he was the Director of Security Intelligence. He died in 1991 in Simcoe, Ontario and is interred with his wife Hester in the Oakwood Cemetery.

Predeceased by his father Joseph in 1914 in Liverpool, Joseph died on 6 June 1934 in Burnaby, British Columbia. His mother Annie died in 1936 in Liverpool and his wife Elizabeth Louisa in 1945 in Vancouver. Joseph and Elizabeth Louisa are interred in the Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby.

by Judy Stockham

Imperial Service Record: The National Archives London England as found on
Grave marker photograph provided by Vic G,


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