HALLS, George W.

No. 3/9392, Private, George Walter HALLS
Aged 26

Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Killed in Action Saturday 22nd January 1916
An Old Contemptible

Born in Bury St Edmunds, registered Bury St Edmunds Q3-1889 [4A:697].

1891 census...Aged 1, he waS living at 1 Raingate Court, Bury St Edmunds with his father- Thomas HALLS [30] farm labourer born Lakenheath; mother- Eliza (née CHINNERY) [31] born Bury St Edmunds; brother- Willie [6] born Lakenheath; brother- Thomas [3] born Bury St Edmunds; sister- Ellen Louisa [2 months] born Bury St Edmunds

1901 census...Aged 11, he was living at Sandpits, Lakenheath with his father , mother, brother Willie, brother Tom, sister Nellie [10] born Bury St Edmunds; brother - John [8] born Lakenheath; sister- Annie [5] born Lakenheath; brother- James [3] born Lakenheath and brother Sargent [1] born Lakenheath.

1911 census... Aged 21, a carpenters help, he was living at Station Road, Lakenheath. The census was completed with only initials. Present were Father T [51], a fishmonger; mother L [52];brother J [13](James?); brother J [17] (William James?); brother S [11](Sargent?) and sister A [15] (Annie).
The record shows no children have died, but sister Ellen/Nellie is un-accounted for.

Brother of James HALLS.
see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
It was thought that George been killed in a mine explosion, as on the night of 21st/22nd January 1916 the Germans exploded a mine under the trenches in front of The Bluff, creating a crater 60 x 40 yards. About 100 men were either killed, buried alive or injured in the explosion.
In fact, according to eye witnesses who returned to Lakenheath, George was walking up a trench, in the Hill 60 area, when a shell killed him.
CWGC records 45 of the 2nd Suffolks killed, 24 of these being commemorated on the Menin Gate.

The Bury Free Press of 26th October 1918 included the photograph below of the Halls brothers and reported:-

The photos are of the five sons and son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. T.Halls, of Sand Pits, Lakenheath, two of whom, we regret to state, have given their lives in their country's service. Thomas who is serving with the Connaught Rangers, has been wounded in 15 laces, and has served in Salonica, Palestine and France; George, who was a military reservist called up on the outbreak of war, and went to France with a Suffolk battalion in 1914, was killed in action after taking an active part in many engagements; James also has made the great sacrifice; John, also of the Suffolks, and one of the "Old Contemptibles" was sent to France in September 1914, and wears the Mons ribbon; the youngest son, a sergeant in the Buffs, is expecting shortly to be drafted abroad; while Corpl Russell Tuffs (son-in-law) went overseas on September 12th 1916 and is now engaged in railway work on the Western Front. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Halls on the splendid military record of their family, at the same time sincerely sympathising with them in the severe losses they have sustained.

© Pierre Vandervelden www.inmemories.com

George HALLS is buried in Spoilbank Cemetery, Belgium, grave 1:B:16

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