13 October 2016

34113 Pte Albert J Hall, 13th & 3rd Hussars

I recently picked up Albert Hall's First World War campaign medals and school attendance medals. The First World War medals are unremarkable but in cracking condition, as are the school medals which I had not seen before.  Together, I think they make an attractive display, and as the sale price was under £50 I thought they were also something of a bargain.

I don't know anything about Albert, and no service record survives for him. The school attendance medals, issued by London County Council, cover the period 1906 to 1911. Assuming that 1911 was the last year that Albert was at school, and assuming that he left school at the age of 14, a birth year of about 1896 or 1897 would seem reasonable.

Albert's regimental number with the 13th Hussars dates to between March and April 1917, although it is possible that he could have attested earlier under the Derby Scheme. Again, an enlistment year of 1917 suggest to me a younger man, maybe someone born in between 1897 and 1899.

The problem of course is that Albert Hall is a common name but there are potentially two candidates on the 1911 census: Albert Joseph Hall, a 15-year-old printer living with his parents in Hoxton and Albert Joseph Hall, a 12-year-old schoolboy living in Bow with his parents and three siblings. Of the two, and bearing in mind that in 1911, the fifteen year-old was working and not at school, I think that The Bow boy is the more likely candidate.  Then again, there is the possibility that Albert J Hall was only recorded as "Albert Hall" on the census return...

Either way, the collection of medals is uncommon and makes a nice addition to my own archive.

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