Charlie Bell was born in Leith, Scotland on 08 November 1925 and grew up within blocks of the Leith docks. He joined the Boys Brigade where he was taught piping and then became a member of the pipe band. When he finished secondary school he began his apprenticeship to become a boiler maker. Subsequently, he continued his work in this field and gained his master boiler maker papers. He brought these skills to Canada to carry on his career.
For a period of time, Charlie played with the city of Edinburgh S.F. Constabulary Pipe Band. He was encouraged by a friend in the area of Hull, QC to come to Canada which resulted in Charlie, his wife Jean (Georgina), nee Marshall and Margaret coming to Canada in the fall of 1953 on the Empress of France. However the promise of a job and a house did not materialize. As a result, he went to work for a boiler making firm in Hull and then moved on to work for Premix Cement which became Francon Cement works. He was invited to join the RCAF with the expectation that he would join the pipe band, but he chose to stay with the same employer.
Thank you to Graeme Ogilvie for bringing together this story and special thanks to Gilbert Young and the Bell family for all their input.