Private William Frank Hall

Regiment:  9th Battalion, Royal Sussex
Service No:    G/8330
Date and place of birth:  3rd qtr 1890 in Woolbeding, Sussex
Date and place of death:  24 July 1917

Family background              

William Frank Hall was the first son of Frank and Louisa Hall, both from Woolbeding, who had married in 1885 and by 1891 were living at Pigeon Hill, Woolbeding, Midhurst, Sussex.

In 1901 Frank Hall (51) was working as a carter for a farmer and was living at Woodmans Green, Linch, Sussex, with his wife Louisa (38), nee Figg.  With them were their four children: Kate (13), William Frank (10), George (7) and May Florence (3). Also there were four boarders: Charles Figg (46), a cowman, and three Dr. Barnardo’s boys.

In 1911 Frank Hall was still a carter living at the same address with Louisa, their three youngest children and Charles Figg as a boarder.  Their son Frank Hall was now aged 20 and working as a general labourer.

William F Hall married Fanny Bulpitt in 1912 in Linch. In 1911 Fanny was a housemaid at Fernden Preparatory School, Haslemere whilst her father, brother and sister were living at Woodmans Green. William and Fanny had two sons: Oliver Frank, born 1912 and William James, born in 1915, both in Fernhurst.

Domestic staff at Fernden Preparatory School c.1911/12
Domestic staff at Fernden Preparatory School c.1911/12

Military service

Frank Hall, a labourer, aged 25, of Pigeon Hill, Fernhurst (sic) enlisted at West Lavington, Sussex on 22 November 1915.

The 9th (Service) Battalion was formed in Chichester in September 1914  and joined the 73rd Brigade of the 24th Division. By December it had moved to Woking, via Portslade and Shoreham. In September 1915, the Battalion was fully mobilised and landed in Boulogne and went from there to the Front, where they remained for the duration of the war. As William Hall did not enlist until November 1915, he would have joined the Battalion at the Front once initial training had been completed.

During 1915 they were involved in the Battle of Loos. In 1916 they faced the German gas attack at Wulverghm and the Battles of Delville Wood and Guillemont. During 1917 the Battalion took part in the Battles of Vimy Ridge (9 to 14 April) and Messines (7 to 14 June) All 1917 battles were part of the Ypres Salient Offensive.

William Frank Hall was awarded Victory and British medals.

Death and commemoration

He was killed in action on 24 July 1917. The name William Hall is inscribed on Fernhurst and Midhurst War Memorials and on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Panel 20.

The Menin Memorial bears the names of 54,389 men from the UK and Commonwealth forces who fell in the Ypres Salient before August 1917.  Every evening at eight o’clock the Last Post is sounded in their memory, a daily ritual since 1927 which was only suspended during the Second World War.

Subsequent family history

The widow of Private F Hall was awarded a pension of 22/11 a week for herself and two children from 4 February 1918. She acknowledged receipt of medals on 16 February 1920 as Fanny Andrews, late widow of Midhurst Road, Fernhurst. Fanny Hall married Thomas C Andrews in 1919.

 

 

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project