Family to honour the memory of fallen Vietnam soldier Alec Bell, 50 years after his death

ohn Bell (Forrestfield) with a picture of his brother Alec Bell. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d477916
Janet McWhirter (Mandurah) and her partner John Muirhead (Mandurah) and her brother John Bell (Forrestfield) with a picture of Alec Bell. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d477916
ohn Bell (Forrestfield) with a picture of his brother Alec Bell. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d477916 Janet McWhirter (Mandurah) and her partner John Muirhead (Mandurah) and her brother John Bell (Forrestfield) with a picture of Alec Bell. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d477916

ALEC Bell’s death might have happened 50 years ago but for his older brother John Bell it still feels like yesterday.

The platoon medic was killed in action during the Vietnam War on January 29, 1968.

After being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, Mr Bell helped his fellow wounded soldiers.

His bravery was honoured in 2014 when the Town of Victoria Park decided to rename Hampshire Reserve to Alec Bell Park.

To commemorate his life, family and friends will gather at Fraser Park in East Victoria Park at 11am on January 29, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

John Bell said his brother was a “man’s man” who loved sport and hot rods.

“He was a conscript and our mother tried to do everything she could to stop him from having to go over,” he said.

“When he passed, four people from the Army turned up at our home to see my father but he was at work at the tramways.

“When my father found out, he didn’t talk for about three or four hours, but my mother knew he would never come back.”

Mr Bell said it meant a lot to the family to have the park renamed in his brother’s honour.

“Even though 50 years has passed it, it still feels like the other day that it happened and that’s how it’s going to feel for the rest of our lives,” he said.

On the day there will be speeches, the Last Post, a minute’s silence and the Rouse.

Attendees are asked to bring their own refreshments for a picnic.

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