Rank:


Corporal

Service No(s):


L/14064

Regiment:


Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment)

Unit:

2nd Battalion

Returned:

No

Place of birth:

Canonbury - Middlesex

Occupation:

Shop assistant

Date of death:

15/07/1916  Died in Oakbank War Hospital, Glasgow

Cause of death:

Gunshot wounds to right knee

Grave or panel reference:

S. 2096

Name of father:

Joseph Omar Hall

Name of siblings:

Evelyn; Gladys; Cyril; Claude; Leonard; Violet; Robin; Lewis

Name(s) of children:

Died:

Yes

Date of birth:

02/03/1895

Place of enlistment:

Mill Hill - Middlesex

Event:

France

Age at death:

21

Cemetery or memorial:

Southgate Cemetery, United Kingdom

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Ellen Anne Hall

Name of spouse:

Address:

1912 - Parish of Islington
1916 - 5 Willowdene Villas, Avenue Road, Southgate

Biography:

Sidney Omar Hall was a soldier of the 2nd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, who died in July 1916, most likely a casualty of the early stages of the Battle of the Somme. He had enlisted as a regular soldier in April 1912 and was promoted to Corporal, and then to Acting Sergeant in 1915, reverting to Corporal in 1916. Before the war he had served in Malta, and his battalion was among the first to go to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force in November 1914.

It seems Sidney suffered a gunshot wound to his right knee in action, which meant that his leg had to be amputated on 9 July, perhaps at a field hospital in France. On 14 July he was admitted to Oakbank War Hospital in Glasgow. His file records that he ‘came in here suffering from shock.’ Sidney died at 8pm a day later, 15 July 1916.

Sidney (or Sydney as it was sometimes spelt) was 21 years old, the oldest son of Joseph Omar Hall, a provision merchant and later a traveller in coal and coke, and his first wife, Ellen. The family lived in Canonbury initially, but the four youngest of Sidney’s eight siblings were born in Finsbury Park. The family moved to Bowes Park by 1911. Sidney’s Attestation papers when he enlisted at Mill Hill in 1912 say he is from the parish of Islington and his occupation is ‘shop assistant’; his employer gave a reference saying he was ‘intelligent, smart and an honest worker’. His military character was said to be ‘very good.’

By the time of Sidney’s death, the Hall family were living at 5 Willowdene Villas, Avenue Road, Southgate, except for Sidney’s mother who had died. Sidney is buried in Southgate cemetery where the Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone bears the inscription ‘Also his Mother Ellen Anne Hall 17th January 1914 aged 44. Mark My Soul it is the Lord.’

There is no evidence of Sidney Hall’s membership of New Court Congregational Chapel and it has proved difficult to establish beyond doubt that this is the right Sidney Hall. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database records the death of other men called Sidney Hall, one of whom has a connection through his parents to Upper Holloway, though he was born, and the family lived, in West Hampstead. It may be that the plaque commemorates Rifleman Sidney Hall (S/18995 of B Company, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade) who died, aged 24, on 11 December 1916 and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery in France.

We honour both Sidney Omar Hall and Sidney Hall.