Alfred Hall, Private 10564, 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 8th May 1915 near Ypres, aged 41
Alfred Hall was born in Macclesfield in 1873, the son of Elizabeth and Charles Hall, a labourer. In 1881, eight year old Alfred was living at 33 Lowe Street, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Isaac (20), Charles (15) and Matilda (3).
Alfred married Hannah Jane Beatrice Gosling, usually known as Beatrice, in the last quarter of 1896 at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield.
On 15 July 1898, Alfred joined the 4th Cheshire Regiment (Militia Reserve) and was given the service number 3061. At that time he and Beatrice were living at 15 Calamine Street, Macclesfield. On enlistment, Alfred was described as 5 feet 4½ inches tall with a 33½ inch chest, a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light hair. During his time with the regiment Alfred attended 4 training sessions and his conduct was ‘Good’. According to his Militia service records, Alfred was mobilised for service between 27 January 1900 and 4th April 1902, serving in South Africa from 7th February 1902 until 3rd April 1902. During his time in South Africa Alfred was awarded the Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Johannesburg South African Clasps.
In 1901, while Alfred was serving with the 4th Cheshire Regiment, Beatrice was living at 64 Jodrell Street with children Mary, Arthur and Alfred (junior). By 1911, the family was together again and living at 15 Swettenham Street. Alfred now had five children – Mary, Arthur, Alfred, Florence and Elsie, and he was employed as a general labourer.
Alfred was drafted with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 6th March 1915. The place name Frezenberg is associated with the 2nd Battalion’s chief share in the Second Battle of Ypres. In continuation of the German plan to break through to the Channel Ports which had begun at St. Julien, on the 8th May they attacked the 27th and 28th Divisions astride the Menin and Frezenberg roads with three Corps, two of which attacked the 28th Division. The attack was supported by as heavy a bombardment of shell and gas weapons as weapons and technique of that period could produce. Three Companies of the 2nd Battalion were wiped out, but the 4th fought on and preserved a semblance of order as it withdrew. The losses were severe: 6 officers were killed, three other officers and 200 men were wounded and 182 were missing.
Alfred was killed in action at this battle on 8th May 1915.
Private Alfred Hall has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel ref. 19-22 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Alfred Hall, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.