Posts tagged ‘Thomas Hall’

Thomas’ Obituary

Lieutenant Thomas Hall, Highland Light Infantry

As I think I said before, the war records of almost all soldiers in the British army during World War I were destroyed during World War II by German bombing. Aside from the censuses and a few other records, I had little clues about his life as a soldier. Then my cousin Jane send me Thomas’ obituary from the Perthshire Constitutional and Journal, dated November 7, 1917.

  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster Thomas Hal, of the 1st Garretson Battalion Highland Light Infantry, died at Yorkhill War Hospital after a short illness.
  • He was a native of Perth, and an old St. Ninian’s Choir boy.
  • He joined the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry as a private, rising to the rank of Regimental-Quartermaster-Sergeant after 14 years service.
  • He did important work in the mobilizing of the battalion when it went out to the South African War and was with them though all the campaign.
  • He had also seen active service in Egypt, India, and Gallipoli, was invalided home, and on recovery obtained his commission as Lieutenant and Quartermaster in January 1916. He was sent to Nigg and then to Fort George
  • Greatly esteemed by his Colonel and fellow-officers as a good soldier. He performed his responsible duties in a most efficient manner.
  • Lieutenant Hall was buried with military honors, the body being conveyed from the hospital to St. Enoch’s Station on a gun carriage drawn by six horses, accompanied by his brother and a party of officers, non-commissioned, and men of his regiment.
  • It was taken to Kilmarnock by rail, and at the cemetery an appropriate service was conducted by the Reverent W. J. Smith, M.A. Three volleys were fired over the grave while a pipe-major sounded the “Last Post.”
  • He leaves a widow, having only been married slightly over a year. Much sympathy is felt for his relatives, who were well-known in Perth.

August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm 1 comment

Questions About Thomas and the 1911 Scotland Census

The information on my great great-uncle, Thomas Hall, is much clearer in the 1911 Scotland Census. By this time,, my great grand-mother Jane Isabella Hall had married John Gray in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. Jane and John had five children, Lydia, Ada, Violet, Madge, and Ruth and were living at 59 Union Street in Bonhill, Dumbartonshire, Scotland. They lived near Loch Lomond in an area called Vale of Leven (Valley of the Leven River). The household also included four borders, including Jane’s brother Thomas. Thomas was 45 years old, Single, and employed as an orderly room clerk in a military barracks. He was born in India, and his nationality was listed as EuroIndian.

I had a few immediate questions when I read this census. Why was Thomas listed as an orderly clerk and not as a telegraph clerk as he had been in earlier records? Why was he living with his sister when he worked at a military barracks? Was he in the military or was he a civilian employee? At which military barracks did he work? Unfortunately, I discovered very early in my research that Thomas’s military service record, along with those of most other British soldiers in World War I, had been destroyed by German bombing in World War II. The questions the 1911 census raised in my mind were not yet to be answered. I couldn’t find any military barracks in Bonhill. There were some in Glasgow, but I could not find any evidence that Thomas worked in these.

More research revealed that Thomas had a long military career with the Highland Light Infantry. This information comes from his obituary which my cousin Jane sent to me. Luckily for all of us, the obituary also included a picture of Thomas in his uniform.

August 26, 2012 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

My Great Grand-uncle Thomas Hall

My next goal with this blog is to research and document the lives of the children of William and Lydia Hall and of William and Mary Cumming Hall. I am going to start with William and Lydia’s first child, Thomas, who was born in Bangalore, India, on March 24, 1866. Thomas was to be the brother of Jane Isabella Hall Gray, my great grand-mother.

After returning to Perth from India, Thomas (14 years old)  is listed in the 1881 Scotland Census, with his parents, his siblings who were also born in India, James and Jane, and his two sisters who were born in Perth, Louisa and Lydia. The family was living at 39 Cross Street in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. Thomas was a scholar, as were James and Jane.

In the 1891 Scotland Census, Thomas was 24 years old and living with his father William, his step-mother Mary Cumming, his siblings James and Jane who had been born in India, his sisters Louisa and Lydia who had been born in Perth, and his step-sisters Isabella and Elizabeth who had also been born in Perth. Thomas was unmarried and was a railroad telegraph clerk. He is listed as born in India and also as a British subject.

Thomas is not found in the 1901 Census. He is found in the 1911 Census living with his sister Jane and her husband John Gray, but more about that later. The Google map below shows Cross Street in Perth where Thomas lived with his family in 1881. The red teardrop with an A on it marks the Hall house. Before enlarging, look on the right hand side to see the Tay River which runs through Perth. Click on the plus sign to the left until you see the name Cross Street. You should also be able to Promarium Street, which is where the Halls lived after Thomas joined the army.

August 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

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My Mom Ada

This blog traces the family history of my mom, Edith Porter Duffy. From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me stories about her family, who all called her Ada. I only wish I had asked her more questions while she was still here!

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