Legend Of Bella

Once upon a time back in the days when the Black Watch made this very camp home, there was an exceptionally beautiful girl named Bella. She was full of life, a pleasantly mannered girl,  but she was born a mute and could not speak. She was very self-conscious about this but worked away happily at her dish washing tasks in the mess hall. Everyone believed Bella was just shy.

The Black Watch is  a Scottish regiment in the Canadian Armed Forces, feared and respected for their bravery. One of the Black Watch soldiers was a young man named Jonathan McKenzie; a tall handsome lad, who instantly fell in love with Bella at first site. He asked her to marry him the day as he was leaving for Normandy on the next train. Bella did not reply, and he knew nothing of her secret. He thought a moment and then said to the shy girl, “When you go to ring the dinner bell”, as she did every day at 6:00pm, “ring it three times and I will know that you will marry me.”

The cook overheard this and raging with jealousy, raced over to the bell and rang it twice, as normal, before Bella had a chance. Jonathan left heartbroken. Bella rushed frantically to catch him but a haunting whistle was all she heard as the train disappeared into the forest.

Every day from that day on, even after the news that Jonathan had been lost in action, Bella rang the bell three times at 6:00pm until the day she died. One of the camp staff found her at the base of the bell tower with a note clasped tightly in her hand that read “Blessed is this bell that has tolled the love I could not have all these years. Good luck and happiness shall be theirs to any who carries on my task. Ring the bell once only on the date of an anniversary or birthday and three times only on the day of an acceptance.”

It has been said by many that if you look up at the train trestle as the bell tolls 3 times that the faint image of a young soldier and beautiful young lady have been seen smiling down at the camp.