At an early age, he passed the examination for a choristership at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was educated for a few years before attending St. Bees School in Cumbria. While at School he was an enthusiastic member of the Officer Training Corps.
He joined the Middlesex Hospital when only sixteen years of age and it was while he was in London that he joined the London University O.T.C., obtaining a commission in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1914. He was with them in camp when war was declared.
Being anxious to qualify, he was seconded in order to complete his medical studies. After obtaining his degrees, he joined the RAMC, and was attached to a battery of the R.F.A. He later re-joined his old regiment R.W.F 1st/6th Battalion (Anglesey and Caernarvonshire) and went out to Egypt as medical officer.
An extract from ‘The London Gazette’ (No. 30491) dated 8th of January 1918, records the following:
'For most conspicuous bravery displayed in action until he was killed. Captain Russell repeatedly went out to attend the wounded under murderous fire from snipers and machine-guns, and in many cases, when no other means were at hand, carried them in himself, although almost exhausted. He showed the greatest possible degree of valour.