ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories

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WWI Stories – Herbert Joseph Hall


Randal Young tells the story of his great uncle, Herbert Joseph Hall, who sailed on the Orvieto to Gallipoli.

Herbert Hall was the seventh of 12 children, born in South Melbourne to Charles Melbourne Hall and Evalina Alice Napier in 1894. He joined the Australian Imperial Force on 19 August, 1914 aged just 21 years. He listed himself as an unmarried labourer. Bert, as he was known, embarked from Melbourne as a Private on board HMAT Orvieto on 21 September, 1914.

Herbert HallThe following shows Bert’s life as a soldier- 

27.10.1914 – Unlawfully in possession of intoxicating liquor and insolence to a superior officer. Forfeits 10 days’ pay.

17.11.1915 – Promoted to Lance Corporal

1.1.1916 – Promoted to Corporal

20.2.1916 – Promoted to Sergeant

1.11.1916 – Promoted to Company Sergeant Major

20.9.1917 – Wounded in Action, France. Gunshot wound – right arm

2.10.1917 – Embarked on hospital ship Pieter de Conisk from France to England

29.10.1917 – Awarded the Military Medal

21.12.1917 – Absent without leave for 24 hours. Forfeits two days’ pay

30.1.1918 – Company Sergeant Major Herbert Joseph Hall returns to Australia due to injuries sustained

Bert received the Military Medal 1916-17 for “continuous good work and devotion to duty during the consolidation and holding of Lone Pine.”

Family at home missed Bert as these sentiments, written by Bert’s older sister Elsie, show…

mcinnes1Dear Old Bert,

I hope this reaches you safely as my letters and parcel seem to have bad luck. Well old fellow how are you? And are you coming home to us soon. You see we are all  waiting for that bow out that you are going to get. When we heard that you were wounded we were sure that you would be home soon. I hope you have had a merry xmas & happy new year. Have a mighty good time while you can, you won’t know the family when you get back. You are uncle to so many now & mine are growing up as you can see. This photo is very good of each of them and you are their Hero! So I hope you have a few good yarns ready for when you come home.

Love from Neil & Els

                                                      Ivor, Neil, Jack & Don xxxxxx