2nd Lt Hugh Wilfred Hall

Hugh Wilfred Hall was born in Durban, South Africa on 8th April 1894 and was brought up on a farm in Eastern Transvaal. He was educated in England and South Africa. He served in the Imperial Light Horse in SA but went to England in Jan 1916 to have officer training with the Inns of Court OTC. He joined the 2/3rd Londons and fought at the second battle of Bullecourt on 15th May 1917 where he was killed. Hall's company was B Coy of 2/3rd Londons and he used a Lewis Gun to fend off the enemy attack. Charles Depinna a fellow officer, describes what happened: 'The moment his Lewis gun jammed, he mounted the parapet and started bombing the Germans in the open as if it was a football match, you might say, regardless of the danger to himself. I didn't see this, but I know it could only happen with Wilfred Hall. He could throw a cricket ball twice as far as I could, and many of the bombs must absolutely have surprised the Germans. He must have killed quite a lot, but suddenly he was hit by a stray bullet. I always say it was not a sniper's bullet at all. Stray bullets were the most dangerous.' A full account of his life and death can be read at: http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol056dh.html

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by Stephen Luscombe