009 – Private Clifford Hall

Private Clifford Hall Killed in action
21 October 1917

Nothing written on Clifford Hall’s attestation papers would have suggested that he  had been actively involved in the union movement in Hobart. According to his obituary in the Weekly Courier, Cliff Hall was a ‘labourite’ and an ‘ardent propagandist for Labour among the boys at the front.’ He was, according to the same article very much involved in influencing the men during the conscription campaigns and the general elections in which the Australian soldiers would vote whilst still at the Front.

Clifford volunteered for enlistment in early September 1915 at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart. He then went into camp at Claremont and there was allotted to the 12th Reinforcements for the 3rd Field Ambulance, possibly due to his short stature.

On 24 November he and other reinforcements left Australia bound for the Suez. On 4 February he was taken on strength with the 3rd Field Ambulance, but just three weeks later was transferred to the 13th Field Ambulance. He remained in Egypt until 6 June 1916 when the 13th Field Ambulance boarded the Oriana for France. From there it is likely that he spent a few weeks at Etaples before being taken on strength with the 2nd Field Ambulance. He later re-joined the 13th Field Ambulance and was with them in Ypres sector.

Private Clifford Hall, according to the war diary, was within 15 yards of the dressing hut when he was killed. The enemy had been shelling the area heavily for much of the day. An account by one of his ‘cobbers’ stated that a big shell got him just outside the dressing station. It would appear that Private Clifford Hall and Private R. W. Jones were the only Australian casualties. He was later buried in the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium. At a later date a brass shield was fixed to a cross and placed on the grave with a chain fence. According to his mate Harry Stephens, his grave was photographed and as they had an ‘artist’ with them, a sketch was made of the grave, these were later sent to his father.