Dave (Joe) Bell – Parachute Regiment

18 Jan

Hello Everybody
Twenty years ago I was on the road leading from Haifa to Jerusalem. I noticed a British Military Cemetery on the left hand side of the road.
On returning home to England I contacted a friend who is older than myself who was brought up two doors from my house. He was a national serviceman who served in the Parachute Regiment and was sent out to Palestine during 1947-48 troubled years
He put his head in his hands when I asked about the cemetery
He composed himself, and said he had been stationed in Haifa.
He said the R.S.M. of the parachute Regt. asked if anyone could play the bugle. They needed a bugler to play at a funeral in the cemetery in Haifa of two British Soldiers who had been killed by terrorists.
He said he learned to play the bugle in the Army cadets and volunteered too play at the funeral, which he did.
He said it didn’t end there, because he was given the job of playing at all the British soldiers funerals that was beginning to get regular each week.
The man in question was named Dave (Joe) Bell, who was a big, strong friendly character and very popular in my home town
Although I never asked him he said it had affected him all his life. Although Dave had left Haifa many years ago, Haifa had not left him. I am sorry to write Dave died last year.
I am sure some of our ex-military readers who served in the Haifa area will remember the funerals.
Also it is gratifying to know, that family members of servicemen who were buried at Haifa, did get some comfort in knowing that they had been given a proper burial and the heart rendering part played by Dave (Joe) Bell.

Alan

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