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Born: 1891, Shipley
Died: 6 October 1917
Buried: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium
Address: 13 Shaftesbury Avenue, Windhill
Parents: John and Sarah
Spouse: unmarried
Siblings: George, Annie, Bertha, May, Alice, Herbet
Organisations/clubs: Wibsey Park Harriers
Rank: L Cpl
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill
Regiment: 1/6 Duke of Wellington’s
Fred Hall
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Fred Hall was born in 1891 in Shipley, the third eldest of the children of stone dresser John Hall and his wife Sarah, who were living at 13 Shaftesbury Avenue, Windhill at the time of the 1911 census. In the section for Fred’s occupation in that document it says ‘Not working at the moment’ but we do know that Fred was a well-known and successful long distant athlete and a member of Wibsey Park Harriers.
There is a picture of him having won the club’s Percy Illingworth Cup and a report that he ran six miles ‘over 24 laps of the cinder track inside Wibsey Park, the runners jumping a hurdle 2ft 6in high each lap.’ Fred won the race in 34 minutes 1 second but just failed in his aim to set a club record that was held by Olympic marathon runner Fred Lord. When his country called, Fred served as a lance-corporal in the 1/6 Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and he was killed by a shell on 6 October 1917. The obituaries in the local papers tell us a bit more about his prowess as an athlete: ‘L Cpl Fred Hall, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who resided in Windhill, has been killed in action. ‘The deceased was one of the most capable distance runners in the West Riding. After running prominently in the Bradford, Yorkshire and northern Cross-Country Championships in 1911, Hall wrested the six miles championship of the Wibsey Park Club from Fred Lord, the international, in 1912 and held the title for four years.’ And another paper reported: ‘Followers of athletics in Bradford especially and throughout the West Riding, will hear with regret of the
death in action of L Cpl Fred Hall, Duke of Wellington’s Regt. ‘Hall gained numerous successes on the track and path as a mover at distances from one mile to eight miles and but for the war would probably have attained higher distinction as he was among the best in Yorkshire in 1914. ‘In this year he won the Bradford & District Cross-Country six miles championship at Heaton and in the same year the Halifax & District championship and the Wibsey Park A.C. Club Championship. ‘He held the Wibsey Club title
without a break during 1912-15, military service preventing him competing in 1916-17. ‘Hall also won handicaps on the flat in half and one- mile races at Primrose Hill, Holmfirth, Nortonthorpe etc., in addition to a number of prizes in harrier team races at local sports. ‘He had been at the front many months and was a popular N.C.O. Hall hailed from Windhill where his death will be greatly deplored. He was 26 years of age. He was killed on October 6th.’ Fred has a CWGC headstone at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium and he is also remembered on the family gravestone in Windhill Cemetery and on the Christchurch Roll of Honour. Thanks to Fred’s great, great niece Charlotte Florkiewicz who supplied the information and photographs for this page
Christchurch RoH Christchurch RoH Christchurch RoH (Above) Fred’s grave at Tyne Cot, visited by his family in 1997 and (below) the family gravestone in Windhill Cemetery