Lance Corporal Robert Hall, MM

 

Robert Hall was born on 5 December 1891 at Cornaglare, County Monaghan, one of at least six children of farmer Robert Hall and his wife Martha (née Carson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living as a boarder at 25.5 Castle Place, Belfast, and working as a draper's clerk.

Hall enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron on 21 November 1914 (No.171). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

On 4 January 1916 Hall was fined 14 days' pay for disobedience of squadron orders, and on 18 April that year he was deprived of 7 days' pay for being insolent to an NCO.

In June 1916 the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron combined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Hall, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Hall was issued regimental number 41516.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

On 28 December 1917 Hall was one of twenty-four former men of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment who transferred from the 9th (NIH) Battalion to the Tank Corps (No.304851). Following training at the Tank Corps Depot at Bovington near Wareham, Dorset, on 6 April 1918 he embarked for France, where he was was posted to the 5th Battalion. It appears that he was late in reporting for duty, for on 17 April he was admonished and lost five days' pay for being absent without leave from 9 pm on 12 April to 12.15 pm on 16 April.

The 5th Battalion Tank Corps saw action during the Advance to Victory offensive at Amiens (8-11 August), Albert (22 August), St Quentin Canal (29 September), the Beaurevoir Line (3 October), and the Selle (11 October). Hall was one of a number of men of the battalion awarded a Military Medal as an "immediate Reward for gallantry in the Field during the August Operations." He was also promoted to lance corporal on 26 August.

On 28 August, however, Hall was awarded 7 days' confined to camp for failing to report the loss of his box respirator. On 6 September he was charged with losing by neglect his revolver, two braces, a holster, leather belt, water bottle, water bottle carrier and two ammunition pouches – he was ordered to pay for the revolver. On 15 November he was reprimanded for being absent from parade.

Hall returned to the UK on 6 February 1919. On 9 March he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.