Hall, Robert. Private 18637 11th Bn Suffolk Regiment. Died 1st June 1916. From Chatteris

Pte Robert Hall 18637

11th Bn Suffolk Regiment

Died 01 June 1916

Robert Hall was born in Chatteris in 1896. In 1901 he was living in Bridge St with his parents Herbert (a farm labourer) and Harriet Hall. By 1911 Herbert was married to Mary Ann Hall and Robert listed as an agricultural labourer, age 14. The family was then living in West Street. Herbert Hall also served in WW1 in the Suffolk Regiment and was wounded in 1915.

 Robert Hall enlisted in Chatteris into the 11th Bn Suffolk Regiment, the Cambridgeshire Volunteer Regiment. He volunteered in Feb-March 1915. His Battalion was in training in the UK and left for France on 7th January 1916

 Robert Hall died on 1st June 1916. He had been home on leave a fortnight before his death. The Cambridgeshire Times recounts a letter from a nurse:

 “He had been wounded in the head and was quite unconscious when he was brought in here this afternoon, and passed away very peacefully at 3.50pm without having regained consciousness. He will be buried by the Chaplain tomorrow in a little military cemetery close to this camp.”

His Captain wrote:

“He got a piece of shrapnel in his head whilst carrying ammunition up a much shelled trench to my company up in the front line”

“The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927” gives details what his battalion were up to during the period in which Robert died:

 “On May 19th the battalion went into the support brigade area at Dernancourt with two companies under Major Farquhar in Becourt Wood. Two days later (ie. May 21st) the battalion took over the right sector of the divisional front, its right resting on the Northern end of the Fricourt ridge and the left facing the ruins of La Boiselle. They held this sector for two periods of six days each, with a break of four days of comparative rest. During the first of these periods “A” Company (Captain H.W. Stace) suffered severely, a section of Lieut.P.V. Emrys-Evans’ platoon being all but exterminated by a night-time bombardment of canisters, the most pernicious missiles used by the enemy in this part of the line. During the second period the German activity continued unabated, the casualties including 2nd Lieut A.H. Wrixon killed. On one occasion a number of men were so deeply buried by the explosion of a shell that it took two hours to set them free. These 12 days in the line constituted the battalion’s first real experience of the tremendous strain of war.”

Robert is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, 2 Km SW of Mericourt-l’Abbe, the site of the 36th Casualty Clearing Station from April 1916.