Philip was born on 30thJanuary 1899, the youngest son of John Bell and brother of John Stanley Bell (see earlier post). Philip entered LWGS in January 1910, placed in form II, and left in July 1914 from form IVA. He was good at games, a member of the cricket team in 1914. The Tamensiancritic’s view was: “plays well in practices but fails to reproduce his form in matches; must learn how to field.” This judgement is a little harsh: he was top scorer in the first innings of the match against King Alfred’s Wantage but did score a rather large number of ‘ducks’ later in the season. He captained the football team in 1913/14. Because of infectious illness in the autumn term all the school matches were cancelled. The results in the spring term were: Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, including a 16 to nil loss against Oxford High School, probably the worst drubbing a LWGS football team ever suffered. The critic stated of him: “plays a fair inside game but needs to cultivate shooting harder.”
He was 5 foot 6 ½ inches tall with fair hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. Unlike his elder brother he initially followed his father into farming, helping on the farm after he left school, but like John, it seems that he did not wish to remain a farmer and he became a motor engineer. Once he was old enough to serve in the forces he joined the Royal Flying Corps on 3rdMach 1917, posted to 51 Squadron. On the 1stJuly 1918 he transferred to the newly founded Royal Air Force. He reached the rank of Leading Aircraftman but was reclassified as a motorcyclist. He continued to serve in the RAF after the war but was transferred to the RAF Reserve on 24thMarch 1921 and finally discharged on 16thJanuary 1923.
Nothing is known of his later life.