David Lattimer Bell


David was a Freemason, member of Lodge Temperance 2557 and one of our forgotten war heroes. He is not listed in the Lodge Temperance WW1 Roll of Honour although the Lodge registers clearly show he was on war service.

At the Lodge Temperance 2557 meeting held at the Assembly Rooms on the 16th May 1910, David was initiated into the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry. He was passed to the second or Fellowcraft degree on the 20th June 1910 and raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on the 18th July 1910. He was proposed by Bro. John Armstrong and was a 30 year old Draper’s Assistant living at 17, Ashburton Road, Gosforth. He had a very successful masonic career with Lodge Temperance becoming Worshipful Master in 1927.

David enlisted in the Royal Navy on 22nd August 1916 for the duration of the hostilities. His place of birth was given as Whitehaven, Cumberland and his occupation commercial traveller. He was immediately assigned to sick berth staff as a Junior Reserve Attendant (J. R.A.) at HMS Pembroke 1, a Royal Navy shore based barracks at Chatham, Kent. He remained there, being promoted to Senior Reserve Attendant in 1917, until his demobilisation on 15th March 1919. He did not serve overseas and was awarded the British War medal.

David was born on 10th October 1879 in Whitehaven, Cumberland to James and Elizabeth Bell. James was a shipwright and ship’s joiner by trade from Whitehaven and Elizabeth Little from Dalton in Furness, Lancashire. They married in 1869 in Whitehaven and had 6 children, 5 surviving childhood:

Joseph (1868 – 1873)
Eleanor (b 1872)
Jane (b 1875)
James (b 1877)
David Lattimer (10/10/1879 – 9/10/1952)
William Thomas (b 1883)

David married Frances Mary Bryce in 1905 in Leigh, Lancashire but by 1911 they had moved to Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne where David was employed as a wholesale drapery assistant. They had three children:

Dorothy (b 1907)
Marjorie (b 1910)
Jennie (b 1916)

After completing his war service, David continued in the drapery business as a commercial traveller and by 1939 had moved to Whitley Bay. He died on 9th October 1952 in the Victoria Jubilee Infirmary, North Shields and in his will left £2329 to Marjorie’s husband, Robert Edmund Robson, timber merchant, and Jennie’s husband, Henry Harvey a shipping clerk.

Updated 14/05/2019