William Harry Hall
Royal Horse Artillery
Died 4 November 1918 aged 32
Bombardier W.H. Hall – R.H.A.
This is William Harry Hall, son of John Hall, groom, and Catherine Fraser, domestic servant. His father came from Aberdalgie in Perthshire and his mother from Old Deer, so neither was a native of the parish. They married at Crimond. William was born on 5 June 1886 at Slains Castle, and in 1891 when William was four, parents and five children were living at the Coachman’s Rooms, Slains Castle with Mrs Hall’s mother. William was at that time the middle child of five, having two older sisters and two younger brothers.
By 1901 the family were at Kincardine O’ Neil, at an address known as “Coachman’s Cottage”, (probably Dess). Mr Hall was employed as a coachman, his two eldest daughters, Mary aged 18 and Catherine 16 were in service, and young William then aged 14 was employed as a stable boy. A further three girls had been born since 1891 – Helen, Christina and Elizabeth. Mr and Mrs Hall later lived at Dess Cottage, Dess Station.
When he enlisted, William himself was living in Inverness. He most probably joined one of the two Inverness-shire batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery, whose function was to provide support for the cavalry using comparatively light, mobile, guns. They were deployed in the Middle-East from 1915 for the duration of the war. The Inverness-shire batteries became part of 18 Brigade in which, at the time of his death Hall was an acting Bombardier (no. 600110). He died in Egypt aged 32 on 4 November 1918, missing the armistice by only a week and having apparently fallen victim to disease. The Aberdeen Weekly Journal on 6 December 1918 reported that he had “died of pneumonia and malaria at an hospital in Egypt…son of John Hall, Chauffeur, Dess”. He is buried at Ramleh War Cemetery and also commemorated in the south-west corner of the old parish churchyard at Kincardine O’Neil, along with his mother who died in 1916 and father who lived till 1945.