Hall, Robert

Robert first appeared in a census in 1901. He was living with his family at 125 John Street Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire.The head of the household was David Hall, 34, a tile cutter who had been born in Stalybridge. His wife was Emma Hall 33 who hailed from Dunkinfield, Cheshire. Their children were  Ada 9, John 7, Robert 5, Albert 3 and Mary 6 months.

Ten years later in the 1911 census the family was still at the same address. David Hall was 44 and still tile cutting. His wife of 20 years Emma was 43. The children listed were Ada 19 a cotton weaver, John 17 a cotton spinner (piecer), Robert 15 also a cotton spinner (piecer), Albert 13 was an errand boy at the yard of the tin plate works. Emma 9 was at school and Walter was 2. This form tells us that 9 children had been born to this marriage but only 6 had survived.

Robert’s Army Service Record has survived and is accessible on Much of it is in good condition but there are illegible parts. The record tells us that on 1st November 1913 in Connah’s Quay,  Robert signed up to the army. He was it says 18 years and 3 months old. (Had he added on a year?) The attestation form tells us he was employed as an iron worker by John Summers and sons and that he was living at 6 Brookside, Garden City, Deeside. (The rest of his family seems to have stayed in Ashton under Lyne) He was 5 feet 31/2 inches tall had good vision and good physical devlopment.

Although he attested in November 1913, he wasn’t embodied into the army until the 5th August 1914. In July 1915 he set sail from Devonport on the ‘Caledonia’  bound for Alexandria in Egypt. He served at Gallipoli in September 1915. Throughout September he was troubled by an abscess on his thigh and was hospitalised and transferred to Cyprus . On the 4th November 1915 he was again hospitalised in Alexandria with a gunshot wound to his thigh and sand fly fever. He didn’t rejoin his battalion for duty until 25th March 1916.

Robert caused the army a bit of bother in August and September 1916 and was punished twice for not complying with orders. He lost pay and was given detention to barracks. He rejoined his battalion after detention on 16th September 1916.  Exactly one week later and ironically, on 23rd of September 1916, Robert Hall was awarded the Military Medal for ‘Gallantry and Devotion to Duty’ in the field.   He was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ by General Sir Archibald Murray KCB and was one of those listed for distinguished service in The London Gazette on 1st December 1916. (page 11805)

He was killed in Action in Egypt on the 7th November 1917.

His next of kin was listed as his father David Hall of 125 John Street Ashton under Lyne

There is correspondence between the Army and Robert’s mother Mrs Emma Hall in which she signs receipts for his Victory, British War and 1914-15 Star medals. Also there is correspondence about his ‘certificate’ for being mentioned in dispatches. She is named as the person to whom any of his possessions should be sent. Wonder if she ever received his Military Medal?

There is a relative list in his records which names his parents David and Emma Hall. It lists 3 brothers John 24, Albert 22 and Walter 10 and 1 sister Emma 17.

There is no index card for Robert in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.

Robert is mentioned in the book  – “Soldiers Died in the Great War. Royal Welsh Fusiliers  Volume 28”, a copy of which is in the Flintshire Record Office at Hawarden.   It was from this book I found my first clue to Robert’s identity – his enlistment at Connah’s Quay.

Alan Regin MBE contacted me and sent some of Robert’s Army documents (below) and also sent me his story from the Stalybridge Reporter dated the 1st of December 1917, so many thanks to him.

Click here to view his Commonwealth War Grave Certificate

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Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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