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Hall, Arthur Charles (1896–1978)

by George Hall

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

Arthur Charles Hall (1896-1978), soldier and grazier, was born on 11 August 1896 at Granville, Sydney, eldest son of Charles Hall, grazier, of Glenelg station near Nyngan, and his wife Emma Jane, née King. He attended All Saints' College, Bathurst, in 1909-12 and became an overseer on his father's properties.

Hall enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Dubbo on 3 April 1916 and was posted to the 6th Reinforcements for the 54th Battalion, embarking in October. After further training in Britain, he joined his battalion on 8 February 1917 at Montauban, France. He received a severe leg wound on 30 March but returned to his unit on 21 April, and fought in the 2nd battle of Bullecourt in May and at Polygon Wood in September; he was promoted lance corporal in June and corporal in October. In 1918 his battalion returned to the Somme to fight at Villers-Bretonneux in April, Morlancourt in July, and in the general offensive from August.

On 1 September, while the 54th Battalion was engaged in an attack on Péronne, a machine-gun post was checking the advance. Single-handed, Hall 'rushed the position, shot four of the occupants and captured nine others and two machine-guns. Then crossing the objective with a small party, he afforded excellent covering support for the remainder of the company'. He was continually in advance of the main party, located many points of resistance and personally led parties to attack them. Next day, while his unit mopped up at Péronne, Hall rescued a wounded mate under shell-fire. For his actions on 1 and 2 September he was awarded the Victoria Cross. On 11 October he was transferred to the 56th Battalion and on 6 March 1919 was promoted temporary sergeant a rank he retained until his discharge from the A.I.F. on 3 August in Sydney.

After demobilization Hall returned to the Nyngan district where he bought a pastoral property, Gundooee station, near Coolabah. On 26 April 1927 he married Catherine Jessie Hemington Harris at the Union Church, Lahey's Creek, with Anglican rites. In 1942 he served as a lieutenant in the 7th Garrison Battalion and on returning to Gundooee carried on his pastoral activities, running sheep and building up a fine herd of Poll Devon cattle. He was president of the Nyngan Picnic Race Club for twenty years and was a foundation member and keen competitor in the Coolabah District Rifle Club; he was also active in the Nyngan District Historical Society.

Survived by his wife, a daughter and three sons, Hall died in Nyngan District Hospital on 25 February 1978. He was buried at the tiny Anglican Church of St Matthew's, West Bogan, which had been built from timber cut and milled on his property. His estate was sworn for probate at $160,191. He left his Victoria Cross to the Australian War Memorial.

Select Bibliography

  • C. E. W. Bean, The A.I.F in France, 1917-18 (Syd, 1933, 1937, 1942)
  • L. Wigmore (ed), They Dared Mightily (Canb, 1963)
  • W. A. Steel and J. M. Antill, The History of All Saints' College, Bathurst, 1873-1963 (Syd, 1964)
  • Mufti, Apr 1939
  • Reveille (Sydney), Apr 1978
  • Despatch, May 1978
  • Country Women's Association of New South Wales (Sydney), Country Woman, May 1978
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 27, 28 Feb 1978
  • records (Australian War Memorial).

Citation details

George Hall, 'Hall, Arthur Charles (1896–1978)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hall-arthur-charles-6523/text11199, published in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 18 April 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

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