Driver John William Hall, T/276274, 4th Reserve Horse Transport, Army Service Corps
John William Hall was born on the 29th March 1898 at Giggal Hill, Ossett, the youngest son of coal miner John Hall, born 20th August 1848 in Midgley and his wife Martha Ann (nee Halstead) born 1860 also in Midgley, the illegitimate daughter of Jane Halstead. Martha Ann was later adopted by the Leather family. The couple married in the Wakefield area in December 1878 and by 1881 were living at Common End, Midgley with two children: Mary A. aged 2 and newly born David, one month. With them is John's 65 year-old mother Mary A. Hall and a niece Hannah Ripley 13 years.
Driver John Hall was based at the No. 3 Horse Transport Depot in Bradford, which was also called No 4 Reserve HT Depot and would have driven a cart drawn by horses. He had been a coal miner before he joined the British Army.
The ASC Horse Transport Depot Companies filled a variety of administrative, recruitment, induction, training and re-supply roles. The Base Depots were based in the United Kingdom or at the port of entry to a theatre of war. Advanced Depots were located further up the lines of communication. The depots task was to turn out complete horse transport units ready for service anywhere, complete with officers, NCOs and men, animals, vehicles (wagons) and stores.
Each Division of the army had a certain amount of transport under its own command, known as the Divisional Train. It was the 'workhorse' of the Division in terms of carrying stores and supplies, providing the main supply line to the transport of the brigades of infantry and artillery and other attached units. It initially comprised 26 officers and 402 other ranks of the Army Service Corps, looking after 378 horses, 17 carts, 125 wagons and 30 bicycles. These comprised a headquarters and 4 Horsed Transport Companies (one for each infantry Brigade and one for Divisional HQ and other troops). The Train moved with the Division. In all, there were 364 ASC Companies of this type.
A Royal Warrant was published on 27th November 1918 in which HM King George V noted with great satisfaction the splendid work performed by the ASC during the Great War and commanded that the Corps should in future enjoy the distinction of ' Royal '. Officers and men were fiercely proud of this honour, which gave a considerable boost to their self-confidence."
Driver John W. Hall, aged 20 years, sadly died of pneumonia on the 5th November 1918 in Bradford War Hospital, Little Horton, which was located in the buildings of the Bradford Union Workhouse between Packington Street and Little Horton Lane. After WW1 it became St. Luke's Hospital.
Next of kin (mother) Mrs M. A. Hall, 13 Back Belgrave Street, Dewsbury.
Above: Driver John W. Hall's CWGC gravestone at Horbury Cemetery (picture by Simon Rogers)
1. Ancestry Family Trees for John William Hall.