Noel B Hall – WW1 victim

Noel B Hall, B Company, 19th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 2nd Canadian Contingent

On this 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s entry in the first world war, it seems fitting to examine the small traces of evidence we have about the only soldier casualty of that terrible war that I know of in my family.

The Hall family were a prominent Durham family, who ran the Old Elvet School in the city. Noel moved from Durham, England to Toronto, Canada shortly before the war. When WW1 broke out he enlisted in the Canadian Army. However he stayed in touch with his family in England (see postcard below).

Noel Hall postcard

Noel B Hall – photo postcard

Noel Hall postcard

Noel B Hall – photo postcard note to his grandmother and aunts

He wrote to a friend in Toronto who published what Noel wrote about his embarkation journey via England to the Western Front in their local newspaper (see article below).

Noel Hall toronto article

Article in Toronto newspaper based on letter Noel’s friend

He was promoted to Corporal during the war. He fought in the Battle of Courcelette in 1916 (see news paper article, which does not mention his name) and was killed on 26 October 1916.  He was only 24.

Noel Hall newspaper 1a

Canadian’s Day of Glory – newspaper article 25 September 1916

Noel Hall newspaper 1b

Canadian’s Day of Glory – newspaper article 25 September 1916

Noel Hall newspaper 1c

Canadian’s Day of Glory – newspaper article 25 September 1916

Noel Hall newspaper 1d

Canadian’s Day of Glory – newspaper article 25 September 1916

In 1925 his body was moved from the Cite Calonne Military Cemetery to the Loos British Cemetery due to local French laws and sanitation regulations. The Imperial War Graves Commission wrote to his aunt Rosa Beatrice Hall with this news (see letter).

Noel Hall war grave letter 1a

Imperial War Graves Commission letter to Rosa Hall about moving Noel’s body

Noel Hall war grave letter 1b

Imperial War Graves Commission letter to Rosa Hall about moving Noel’s body

Noel was my Grandmother’s cousin (her mother Charlotte Eliza Hall’s nephew), Rosa was Granny’s aunt.

In June 2008 me and my family tracked down and visited Noel’s grave at Loos British Cemetery.  It is a small cemetery, immaculately maintained and we saw it on a sunny day. I wonder if Rosa ever managed to visit his grave, she was listed as his next of kin so I can guess that they were close.  We hope to visit his grave again in 2016.

One thought on “Noel B Hall – WW1 victim

  1. Pingback: Visit to the Somme – part 1 – AnnaCPage’s Blog

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