HALL, Geoffrey (MC)

Lieutenant, 9th Bn., Royal Fusiliers.

Born

c. 1895.
Son of Dr. Edgar Atheling Hall and Ada Margaret Hall of Seacombe, Adelaide Road, Surbiton, Surrey.

Education

Blundell’s School, a “Day Boy”, from the age of 15.
May 1913 – Summer 1915.

Service

He was Gazetted for his award of the MC for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on 9th January 1918 during earlier action: “He was left in charge of a few posts in the front line after it had been cleared for our artillery bombardment. The front line was heavily shelled throughout the day and the sentry posts several times buried. With great skill, however, he altered the disposition of our posts, thereby greatly reducing the number of casualties, and although himself buried earlier in the day, gallantly stuck to his post and maintained the morale of his men by his cheerfulness and complete disregard of danger.”

The Offensive

Sir Douglas Haig described the object of the Cambrai operations as the gaining of a 'local success by a sudden attack at a point where the enemy did not expect it' and to some extent they succeeded. The proposed method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment. Instead, tanks would be used to break through the German wire, with the infantry following under the cover of smoke barrages. The attack began early in the morning of 20 November 1917 and initial advances were remarkable. However, by 29 November, it was clear that the Germans were ready for a major counter attack. During the fierce fighting of the next five days, much of the ground gained in the initial days of the attack was lost.

Death

20th November 1917, during the first day of the Battle of Cambrai whist leading his men to the attack.

Burial/Commemoration

Panels 3 and 4, Cambrai Memorial.
Geoffrey Hall has no known grave so is commemorated on Cambrai Memorial at the Louverval Military Cemetery, Nord, France.

Memorial

The memorial stands on a terrace at one end of Louverval Military Cemetery. The small village of Louverval is on the north side of the N30, Bapaume to Cambrai road, 13 kilometres north-east of Bapaume and 16 kilometres south-west of Cambrai. The Memorial stands on a terrace in Louverval Military Cemetery and commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, whose graves are not known. The Cambrai Memorial was designed by H Chalton Bradshaw with sculpture by C S Jagger.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Record Office, National Archives, Kew WO339/  and Medal Rolls: WO372/
“The Blundellian” November 1917 p349
Archives of the London Gazette, www.gazettes-online.co.uk; 9th January 1918 p611
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5598
Blundell’s School Roll of Service 1914 – 1918
“Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France” (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 26/612

 

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