F.W. Hall (1885-1915) was an Irish immigrant who came to Canada in 1910. He lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, before enlisting and going overseas with the 8th Battalion of Winnipeg. Hall was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions on April 24, 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, when he persisted in trying to rescue a wounded soldier who was 15 meters from his trench. Despite heavy fire, Hall continued trying to rescue the wounded man and was in the process of lifting him up when he himself was fatally struck. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage and devotion to duty. Hall had lived in the 700 block of Pine Street in Winnipeg’s West End, as did two other soldiers who received the Victoria Cross during the war: Leo Clarke and Robert Shankland. After the war, in 1925, the street was renamed Valour Road to commemorate their bravery. The medals of the men are now on permanent display at the Canadian War Museum.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: February 21, 1885 (Kilkenny, Ireland)
Date of Attestation: September 26, 1914 (Valcartier, Quebec)
Age at Enlistment: 29 years, 7 months
Prior Military Service: Yes – 12 years, 4 months with the 1st Cameronians, 106th Light Infantry
Height: 5 feet, 8 inches
Description: Ruddy complexion, brown eyes, auburn hair. Church of England. Scorpion tattoo on right arm.
Home Address: N/A
Next of Kin: Mother, Mrs. M. Hall, living at 260 Young Street in Winnipeg.
Theatre of War: France, Belgium
Casualties / Medical History
- 1915 – Notes indicate that Hall was killed in action at Ypres on April 25, 1915. (Page 15)
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- 1914 – A stamp indicates that Hall’s unit sailed on October 3, 1914. (Page 12)
- June 6, 1916 –A note glued overtop of a previous address states that his mother now lives at 30 Hargrave Street in Winnipeg. (Page 13)
- August 5, 1920 – It appears that his mother left Canada after the war, as the War Service Gratuity, a fee paid to dependants of deceased soldiers, is to be sent to her at 43 Union Road, Leytonstone, Essex, in England. (Page 26)
The London Gazette
- The London Gazette—June 22, 1915, Supplement 29202, Page 6115
“No. 1539 Colour-Sergeant Frederick William Hall, 8th Canadian Battalion. On 24th April, 1915, in the neighbourhood of Ypres, when a wounded man who was lying some 15 yards from the trench called for help, Company Sergeant-Major Hall endeavoured to reach him in the face of a very heavy enfilade fire which was being poured in by the enemy. The first attempt failed, and a Non-commissioned Officer and private soldier who were attempting to give assistance were both wounded. Company Sergeant-Major Hall then made a second most gallant attempt, and was in the act of lifting up the wounded man to bring him in when he fell mortally wounded in the head.”
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)