They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


David Bell


Ordinary Seaman, VR-2704, RNCVR


Born: 11 Aug 1882


Died: 18 Jun 1917 at sea


Book of Remembrance


BELL, David, OS, VR-02704, RCNVR, killed - 18 Jun 1917, HMT BORNEO


OS Bell died when HMT BORNEO was blown up off Beachy Head during mine sweeping operations on 18 Jun 1917.


On the 18 June 1917 the BORNEO and GRENADIER (Adm'y No.714, former Grimsby trawler GRENADA GY 323), were sweeping off Beachy Head. Several mines were swept up during the day, one brought to the surface was detonated by rifle fire from GRENADIER. At 5.45 pm there was a large explosion under BORNEO, she broke up and sank rapidly. None of the crew survived. Lieutenant A. G. Philips the senior officer in charge of sweeping, was criticized for an error of judgment in continuing to sweep the area at low tide. The mines had been laid in the area earlier that day by the German submarine UC-17 (Werner Fürbringer). (source:

Ships served in:




Memorial – Photo provided by The Commonwealth Roll Of Honour Project. Volunteer Henry Drury

Source: Canadian Virtual War Memorial




First World War Casualty Index - RCN