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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leslie Bell

Born in Horden, County Durham, on 16 September 1915, Leslie Bell was educated at Horden Elementary School. He married Daphne Taylor (1920-1970) in 1940 with whom he had a daughter, Barbara (1944- ), who married boxer Brian Nancurvis (who fought as Brian Curvis). He later married Emma Daniels in 1975.

Bell was best known for his writings about boxing. In the years after the Second World War, he wrote a number of books for the cheap paperback market, including a guide to stopping smoking and a book on improving your boxing. He wrote studies of Freddie Mills, Bruce Woodcock and others, also penning a novel about boxing entitled Fight Racket.

Later factual books included Sabotage, a biography of J. Elder Wills, the film director who became head of Sabotage and Camouflage during the Second World War, Destined Meeting, about Dr Philip Bloom and his wife, who were held captive by the Japanese following the siege of Singapore, and Bella of Blackfriars, the biography of actress and boxing promoter Bella Burge. He later wrote the screenplay Nudist Paradise with Denise Kaye (1959). He reputedly also wrote many novelettes under various pen-names as well as contributing anonymously to The Wizard boys' paper.

Bell, a member of the Institute of Journalists, lived at 33 Woodhill Crescent, Kenton, nr Harrow, Middlesex, before retiring to the Gower Peninsula in south Wales in around 1963. He died there on 12 April 1995.


Novels (series: Bat Brady)
The Fight Racket. London, Background [Sports-Crime Novel], Oct 1949.
Jim Strange. London, Herbert Jenkins, 1952.
The Laughing Fish (Brady). Meridian Books, Sep 1952.
Ring the Bell, Sister! (Brady). London, T. Werner Laurie, Jul 1956.

You Will Not Smoke: How to Stop Smoking. London, Postlib Publications, Jul 1946.
Boxing Spotlight, 1949. London, Findon, May 1949.
Improve Your Boxing (by Nat Seller, collated and edited by Leslie Bell). London, Findon, 1949.
Focus on Freddie Mills. London, Background Books, Jun 1949.
Focus on Bruce Woodcock. London, Background Books, Aug 1949.
Men Behind the Gloves. C & J Temple, Jul 1950.
Inside the Fight Game. London, Rockliff, Jun 1952.
Sabotage!: The story of Lt. Col J. Elder Wills. London, T. Werner Laurie, Oct 1957.
Destined Meeting. London, Odhams Press, 1959.
Bella of Blackfriars. London, Odhams Press, 1960.


Screenplays: Nudist Paradise, with Denise Kaye (1959).

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