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Name: Ivor Bell

Burial Number: 1172

Gender: Male

Distinction: Died in Traffic Accident

Born: 00/11/1920

Died: 24/09/1924

Buried: 29/09/1924

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Ivor John Warland Bell was the son of John Warland Bell and Mrs Bell nee Friend. Born in November 1920, he died in a tragic accident on 24th September 1924 in Worthing, Sussex and was buried in Heene Cemetery on 29th September, 1924. The following account was published in ‘The Worthing Gazette’ on 1st October 1924.


By what was aptly described as an irony of fate a response by the Borough Fire Brigade to a fire at Clapham on Wednesday afternoon was attended by a deplorable accident, resulting in the death of a little boy of four years named ‘ Ivor John Warland Bell’. When turning out of Longfellow-road into Heene Road the motor engine, driven by Station Officer Fenley came into collision with a private landaulette belonging to Mr. John Warland Bell, of the Milton Garage, Milton-street, and driven by John William Alfred Field. Mr. Bell’s two little children, Sybil (7 years) and Ivor (3 years and 10 months) were riding in front of the car with the driver, and in the collision the little boy sustained severe injuries, to which he succumbed in the Hospital two hours later. The little girl also sustained some nasty cuts on the head, foot, and arm, but after these had been temporarily dressed in Dr. Good’s surgery, she was able to be sent back to her home. The landaulette contained a churn of milk and a crate of fowls, and a remarkable feature of the accident was the fact that only a little of the milk was spilt and the fowls were not damaged at all. The driver of the landaulette also escaped with a shaking. An investigation into the and affair was conducted by Mr. A. W. Rawlison, in his capacity as Deputy Coroner, on Friday afternoon, before a jury of whom Mr. J. H. Cook acted as Foreman, and after hearing the evidence the jury had no difficulty in deciding that the accident was unavoidable and they exonerated both drivers from any blame. The Town Clerk (Mr. J. Kennedy Allerton) represented the Corporation and Mr. A. L. Ferriman watched the proceedings in the interests of the driver of the landaulette and the relatives. Formal evidence of identification was given by the father. John Walrond BELL, a haulage contractor and proprietor of the Milton Garage. Worthing, who stated that the deceased was three years and ten months old. He last raw him alive at half-past eight on Wednesday morning, when witness left home for Eastbourne. The boy was in the habit of going out for rides with Field. Whenever witness or Field went to Mr. Matthews’ farm for the milk they usually took one of the children with them. Field drove for witness before the War, and he had been driving while serving with the Royal Air Force in India before returning to his employment last year. He had every confidence in Field as a careful driver. By Mr. Ferriman : The car was a 12-14 Renault landaulette. and was used almost daily by Field for private hire work. He had made no examination of the car since. but from what he saw of it in the garage it was almost irreparable. The photograph produced correctly represented the position of the car, after the accident. Dr. Charles GIBSON deposed that about a quarter to six on Wednesday evening he received an urgent message, and he saw the boy in bed. He was suffering severely from shock, and great injury had been done to the chest and lungs. It was evidently extremely unlikely that the child could live, and nothing more could be done than had already been done. The injuries were such as might have been caused by the child being caught between two vehicles—very severe crushing. He died about seven o’clock the same evening. corner very short. Witness immediately jammed on both his brakes, and the next he knew the engine was into him. He heard no warning whatever from the fire engine. The engine hit his car between the near side front wheel and the running board. He had his employer’s two children sitting on the seat beside him. The boy was in the centre and the little girl on the extreme left. The engine pushed his car from its proper position on the near side of the road to the other side. Witness was quite certain he did not swerve to the right. He had plenty of room to swerve in to the left, but as a fact he had no time to swerve either way. The Coroner : You do not think it possible that involuntarily you turned your wheel and so swerved to the right? I ask you this because I understand there have been statements made by people who were on the engine that before the actual impact you were seen to swerve to the right. Witness: Yes, I have seen that in the papers, but it is not so. My natural instinct would have been to turn to the left and not to the right, but I bad no time to do anything. Replying to further queetions by the Coroner, witness said be had been driving since 1914, either in the Army or as a civilian, and he had never had any accident or been summoned for any offence as a motorist. Witness afterwards corrected this latter statement, saying he received a summons only last week for not having a rear light : and the Coroner remarked that, he was going to say that if he had never had a summons of any kind he most have been extremely lucky. That was the experience of most of those who had driven a car.

A PURE ACCIDENT. By Mr. Ferriman : He could not have done anything more to avoid the collision: he had no time to do anything. His car was pushed about 15 feet across to the other side of the road by the fire engine. By Mr. Allerton: He could not say which part of the fire engine struck his car. The TOWN CLERK said he would like to take this opportunity, with the Coroner’s permission, to express on behalf of the Corporation their deep and profound sympathy with the father and mother in this very sad accident. It one of the ironies of fate that this deplorable accident should have arisen on a journey for the saving possibly of life, and certainly for the saving of property. Arthur Ernest Fenley, station officer of the Borough Fire Brigade, stated that on Wednesday afternoon be was driving the motor fire engine along Longfellow-road at from 12 to 13 miles an hour to a fire own which had been received from Harrington. On approaching Heene Road he sounded his horn; and the fire bell was also ringing continuously. The fire bell was an ordinary bell, but he did not think one would have any trouble in hearing it a hundred yards away. When he approached the corner he saw a taxi-cab coming up Heene-road on the near side, about 12 or 19 yards from the corner, and be took a sweep to get round, but as he turned the corner the driver of the taxi appeared to loge himself and cut right across the road in front of him. Witness could not have got round the corner if he had been on the wrong side. One could not turn a corner very fine with a vehicle like a motor fire engine, because it had such a long wheel base. When he saw what wee likely to happen he applied both his brakes and relied the engine up in about, eight or nine feet. If the driver of the taxi bad kept straight on, instead of swerving to the right, he could not have avoided the accident he would have caught witness broadside on. The only way for him to avoid the accident would have been to pull up before he actually reached the owner. The Coroner: In your opinion it was a pure accident? Witness : Absolutely. By a Juror The road was dry.

Researcher: Pat Brownbill

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Ivor Bell

Location in Cemetery

Area: SES Row: 12 Plot: 16

Exact Location (what3words): driven.alien.cubs

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In loving memory of our little son Ivor John Warland Bell taken suddenly Sept 24th 1924 aged 3 years 10 mths "A little angel called to heaven"

Further Information


Name: Ivor John Warland Bell

Gender: Male

Born: 00/11/1920

Town: Brighton

County: Sussex

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

No marriage information is available for this burial record.

Information at Death

Date of Death: 24/09/1924

Cause of death: Injuries from Road Traffic Accident

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: No value recorded

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


Living at Milton Garage, Milton Street, Worthing

John Warland Bell, Head, 41yrs; Married; Born – Horsham, Sussex; Garage Proprieter, Own Account at above address

Sybil Florence Warland Bell, Daughter, 5yrs; Born – Brighton, Sussex

Ivor John Warland Bell, Son, 6mths; Born – Brighton, Sussex

Edith May Field, Housekeeper, 26yrs; Single; Born Brighton, Sussex

Marion Elizabeth Cleave, Visitor, 31yrs; Single; Born Brighton, Sussex

Miscellaneous Information

No miscellaneous information is available for this burial record.