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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Remembering Lance Corporal William George Hall - KIA September 3, 1916

William George Hall was born at Leighton, England on January 24, 1897. His mother, Eliza Hodgson, a native of Country Harbour, Guysborough County, married George Hodgson, an English soldier, at Halifax in 1894. The couple subsequently returned to England, where William was born. A second child, a daughter Laura, later joined the family. After George’s passing, Eliza returned to the Country Harbour area, marrying Arthur C. Giffin, a local widower, in 1913. Laura later married Clarence O’Hara, an Isaac’s Harbour sea captain, in 1916.

Lance Corporal William George Hall
William enlisted with the 64th Battalion (Maritime Provinces) at Sussex, NB on August 23, 1915. Promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in January 1916, William departed Halifax with the 64th on March 31, 1916, landing in England nine days later. When the unit was disbanded shortly after its overseas arrival, William “reverted to ranks” to hasten a transfer to another battalion.

On July 5, 1916, William was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Central Ontario & Quebec) and departed for the Canadian Base Depot at Le Havre, France the following day. He joined his new unit in the field six weeks later, while the battalion was training at Nordausques, France. The 2nd departed for the Somme region of France on August 28, arriving at Albert three days later.

On September 1, the 2nd Battalion relieved Australian soldiers in the front trenches near Bapaume, its war diary reporting heavy artillery shelling throughout the brief tour. Private William George Hall was amongst the battalion’s 25 OR fatalities, killed by German artillery fire on September 3, 1916, his third day of service in the line. He was laid to rest in the 2nd Canadian Cemetery, Sunken Road, Contalmaison, France.

A detailed version of William’s story is contained in “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917,” available online at .

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