HALLS, George Henry

No.8308, Private, George Henry HALLS
Age 35

2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Died of Illness on Monday, 11th November 1918

1911 Delhi Durbar Medal

George Henry Hall was born in Burwell on 6th May 1883 (Newmarket Q2-1883 3B:536), baptised in Ely Methodist 30th December 1884, son of Elizabeth HALL of Burwell.

1891 census...Neither George nor his mother have been found in this census.

It appears that his mother married Charles Henry MARTIN (Newmarket Q4-1893 3B:1121)

1901 census:George has not been found, but at North Street, Burwell were his mother Elizabeth MARTIN [35] born Burwell; step-father Charles Henry MARTIN [37] furnace man at manure factory, born Wicken; half brothers Thomas [6] and Birt [5] and sister Elise [3], the children all born in Burwell.

1911 census:Aged 28, George was in India with the West Riding Regiment. His mother and step father were at North Street, Burwell with his brothers Thomas (stoker at brickworks), Bert (labourer at brickworks) and John [5]; sisters Elsie and Dorothy [10]. The new siblings were born in Burwell.

On 10th October 1913 at St Mary's, Burwell, he married Louisa Emily BOND. Their daughter Hilda May HALLS was born in Burwell on 1st July 1914.
His widow later re married in 1919 to George A SUTTON, living at Powell's Row, Burwell.

The pension card records that a pension was disallowed due to his illness not being contracted on active service ?. That decision was counter to that of the CWGC who have him on their records.

George and Louisa with Hilda

He enlisted in Burwell on the 24th October 1904 in the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), giving his age as 21 years 5 months. A labourer from Burwell, he was 5 feet 5.5 inches (165.1 cm) tall, weighted 130 lbs (59.2 cm), chest 35" to 38" (88.9 to 96.5 cm), blue eyed , dark brown hair, a Wesleyan.
His service was:-
Home...24th October 1904 to 4th October 1905
India..5th October 1905 to 27th December 1912
On the Reserves 31st December 1912 to 5th August 1914
Mobilised in Halifax on 6th August 1914
B.E.F. in France 14th August 1915
Home 1st March 1915-31st August 1915

He suffered pains and swollen legs on October 10th 1914 at Bethune and spent 6 weeks in hospital. Recovering, he was sent back to the front. His swollen legs returned in February 1915 and he returned to England. At the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (March 1st-27th), they found his heart was also irregular. On 31st August 1915 he was discharged, with Rheumatic Fever, as a result of active service and exposure to damp and cold. No longer being physically fit for war service he was awarded Silver war Badge 326.344 when discharged. He received a disability pension of 12 shilling and sixpence per week (62p), his disability being assessed initially as 50%. He returned to live at North Street, Burwell.

One of his Army forms gives his family details, marriage, child and including younger brothers Tom HALLS and Bert HALLS living in Burwell with his mother Elizabeth MARTIN, which seems to be a not uncommon mix up of surnames.

He must surely have been eligible for the clasp to his 1914 Star, but this was not instituted until 1919, and had to be claimed, but he had died before then. His 1911 Delhi Durbar Medal is much rarer.

George Halls is buried in Burwell (St Mary's) Churchyard (south part).

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details