Richard Hall, Private 17957, 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment
Died 30th November 1919 at Macclesfield Infirmary, aged 37
Richard Hall was born on 22 November and baptised on 5 December 1882 at St Saviour’s Church, York, the son of Elizabeth (née Shepherd) and William Hall, a labourer of Gardens Place, York; Richard’s father is mistakenly named as Richard Hall in the baptism register. In 1891, nine-year-old Richard was living at 4 Dundas Court, Lower Dundas St, York with his parents and siblings William (14), Rose (12), Sarah (6), and Arthur (3).
Richard joined the 4th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment with service number 6027 in December 1900 at the age of 18 years and 1 month. He stated that he lived in Hungate, York, was employed as a labourer, followed the Roman Catholic faith and had a tattoo of a crucifix on his right forearm and a hand and heart on his left forearm. His next of kin were his father William and brother William, of 96 Walmgate, York, and his brother Arthur of 12 Wright St, Hull.
On 1 April 1904, when stationed at Quetta (now in Pakistan), Private Hall extended his term of service to 8 years; he had already received one good service badge. In late 1906 Richard was taken ill at Fort Lahore (now in Pakistan) with Ague (malaria or another fever) and spent three months in hospital at Karachi before being repatriated to the UK; during 1907 he was treated four times with quinine and tonics for Ague on the ship home, at Netley Hospital, and at Aldershot.
Richard was discharged to the Army Reserve at the end of eight years’ service on 18 December 1908 and finally discharged on 17 December 1912.
It is not known what brought Richard to the Macclesfield area after his discharge to the Army Reserve, but on 28 August 1910 at St George’s Church, Sutton (south Macclesfield) he married Harriet Flood, a cotton weaver born in Scissett, West Yorkshire, who came to Macclesfield with her family when a young girl.
In 1911 Richard and Harriet were living at 3 Bridge Street, south Macclesfield (now Chapel Street). The couple had a daughter, Mildred, in 1914.
Richard rejoined the West Yorkshire Regiment at Macclesfield with service number 17957 on 25 January 1915 and was drafted overseas with B Company of the 2nd Battalion on 24 March 1915.
On 5 June 1918 Richard was reported to be missing and was later confirmed to be a prisoner of war in Germany. He had been captured on 27 May 1918 at La Ville Aux Bois and was held first at Darmstadt and later at the Munster II camp.
Whilst in the prisoner of war camp Richard contracted tuberculosis. He was repatriated to England on 20 November 1918 and later reported sick to Stepping Hill Military Hospital, Stockport. On 12 April 1919 Private Hall was discharged from the Army as permanently unfit for service, and he was awarded silver war badge number B176528.
On 25 August 1919 Richard, then living at 8 Waller Street, Macclesfield, was admitted to Macclesfield Infirmary where he remained until 19 September 1919, suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. A note in the hospital register states that he was to attend an outpatient clinic daily. Richard was readmitted to the Infirmary on 2 October and died there on 30 November 1919.
Richard’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 12 December 1919:
HALL – On December 3, at the General Infirmary, Richard Hall, aged 37.
It’s likely that Richard was actually buried on 3 December 1919.
After Richard’s death, his widow Harriet married Arthur Genders at Park Street Methodist Church, Macclesfield in 1922.
Private Richard Hall is buried at Macclesfield Cemetery, Cheshire, in a family grave, ref. C.3292. The inscription reads:
Sacred to the memory of Richard Hall who died Novr. 30th 1919 aged 37 years. Also Harriet Genders who died March 5th 1952 aged 69 years.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages, Deaths
York Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast)
Macclesfield Parish Marriage Registers (FindMyPast)
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1911
Prisoners of War 1715 – 1945 (Find My Past)
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (FindMyPast)
Macclesfield Infirmary Admission Register (Cheshire Archives, ref. LGM 4/2)
Macclesfield Advertiser: 12 December 1919