August 20, 1873, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

April 13, 1946, Gordons Bay (near Somerset West), South Africa.


Bell studied in London at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) with Frederick Corder, and with Charles V. Stanford at the Royal College of Music. He mainly made his living as an organist and lecturer, but was also Professor of Harmony at the RAM, where he taught 1903–12. Bell composed two tunes for The English Hymnal of 1906.

In 1912, Bell moved to South Africa to direct the South African College of Music in Cape Town. He was Principal there until 1935, and is credited with a significant expansion of the school. In 1920, Bell became Professor of Music at the University of Cape Town, where he held classes for degree courses. The South African College of Music was incorporated into the University in 1923, and Bell became Dean of the Faculty of Music. Bell also founded the Little Theater, an opera training center, and occasionally directed the Cape Town Music Society.

The W. H. Bell Music Library at the University of Cape Town is named for him.

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  2. Hail Harbinger of Morn

Bell’s burial place