No.326552, Private, Harry HALL
1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Born in 1893 (from the CWGC information), also mother Mary Ann HALL. He had married Florence Mabel Wilson in Bury St.Edmunds in the 2nd qtr 1917 who later went on to marry Richard J Carter and live at 32 Prospect Row, King's Road, Bury St Edmunds|
That so far is all that has been found of his civilian identity. He was apparently not born in the area and there are far too many possibilities in the birth records and census.
He enlisted in Cambridge.|
31st July 1917 was a day of death and glory for the 1st Cambridgeshires. The 1st day of 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) they had seized Border House,near St Julien but then two platoons of C coy held off German counter attacks against 118th Brigade, 39th Division, while the remnants of the attacking battalions fell back and consolidated on the Steenebeke. One report enlarges on this aspect:
" During the offensive at St Julien. C Company had attacked and captured Border House, its objective, beyond the Hanebeek but, at a later stage, the position was outflanked and the survivors of the Company were ordered to fall back. A Runner with a bandaged head brought this message to Battalion Headquarters; 'I received a message by Orderly to retire, but as Capt Jonas, before he was killed, said we were not to retire without written orders from the CO, I am holding Border House. There are only three of us left alive and two of those chaps is wounded. I am holding Border House until I get written orders to retire. (Signed) Private Muffet. 7.30 pm. (Muffet survived the war and when trying to sign on as a regular was told he was not of the required physique !)
Of the 65 men of the battalion killed that day, only 9 have identified graves, the rest are commemorated on the Menin Gate. A very full and descriptive account of this action is in "The Cambridgeshires 1914-1919" by Brig Gen E Riddell CMG DL and Colonel MC Clayton DSO DL, an extremely informative and readable book.
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details