Thursday, September 11, 2014

L/9533 Pte George Hall, Royal West Kent Regiment

George Hall was born in Chailey, probably early in 1894. His birth was registered at Lewes district in the March quarter of that year and he appears on the 1901 census as a seven year old living at Station Cottage, Chailey with his family. The household comprised Thomas Hall (head, aged 52, a railway plate layer), his wife Rhoda Hall (aged 47) and their four children: Rosey Hall (aged 12), Charles Hall (aged nine), George and Harry Hall (aged three). All three boys would later serve in the First World War.

Census returns for 1891 and 1881 reveal other Hall children as well: Elizabeth, aged 15 in 1891, another daughter – the name is difficult to decipher – aged 11 in 1891 and Annie Hall, aged four in 1891. The 1881 census additionally notes John Hall, aged three.

Chailey Parish Magazine notes George in its first list of men serving their King and Country in October 1914. In October 1915 this information is updated to include the additional information that Drummer G Hall is serving with the 2nd Royal West Kent Regiment in India. The 2nd Royal West Kent was a regular battalion which had been stationed at Multan, India when war was declared and which would later be besieged in Kut. George remained with the battalion for the duration of the war.

In July 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine adds the additional information that he is serving with the Indian Expeditionary Force (although throughout the war, the battalion was assigned to various Indian divisions). The National Archives in London gives George Hall’s rank as Private and his number as L/9533, this latter information suggesting that he enlisted in early 1910. George’s final mention in Chailey Parish Magazine in July 1919 simply mentions his rank of Drummer and battalion as before.

As can be seen from his medal index card above (courtesy of Ancestry) his rank is noted as Drummer on his 1914-15 Star, and Private on his British War and Victory Medals. The latter roll confirms that George served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment.

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