In Memory of Captain ERIC NORMAN FRANKLAND BELL V C 9th Bn., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers attd. 109th Light T.M. Bty. who died age 20 on 01 July 1916 Son of Capt. E. H. Bell, of 22, University Rd., Bootle, Liverpool. Native of Enniskillen, Ireland. Remembered with honour THIEPVAL MEMORIAL In February of 2001 a Victoria Cross medal arrived in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh from New Zealand. The medal had been in New Zealand for the previous 70 or more years. In 1916 it had been posthumously awarded to Enniskillen born Captain Eric Norman Frankland Bell. Eric Bell's father was a quartermaster in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers so it was no surprise that his son followed in his father's footsteps and joined the 9th Battalion RIF. On 1st July 1916 - A date which was later to become known as the first day of the Battle of the Somme.- Captain Bell was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery at Thiepval, France. Here is the citation which accompanies this prestigious medal. Captain Eric Bell VC " For most conspicuous bravery. He was in command of a Trench Mortar Battery, and advanced with the infantry in the attack, when the front line was hung up by enfilading machine-gun fire. Captain Bell crept forward and shot the machine-gunner. Later, on no less than three occasions, when our bombing parties, which were clearing the enemy's trenches, were unable to advance, he crept forward alone and threw trench-mortar bombs among the enemy. When no more bombs were available, he stood on the parapet under intense fire and used a rifle with great coolness and effect on the enemy advancing to counter-attack. Finally, he was killed rallying and reorganizing infantry parties which had lost their officers. All this was outside the scope of his normal duties with his battery. He gave his life in his supreme devotion to duty. " London Gazette 26 September 1916 His body was never recovered. The Medal came into the possession of Bell relatives in New Zealand who many years later generously decided it's rightful place was in the safe keeping of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers' Museum, in Enniskillen. And so, through intermediaries, they eventually arranged for it to be handed back to the regiment. It is now housed in the Castle Keep, Enniskillen Castle.