|Date of Birth||September 23, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Carman, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Emma Hall, wife, 104 3rd Street, Kenora|
|Trade / Calling||Carpenter|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||104 3rd Street, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 12, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||24|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||February 17, 1975|
|Age at Death||83|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
According to his attestation papers, Percival James Hall was born 23 September 1891 in Carman, Manitoba.* The son of Scottish immigrant William Hall and Ontario born Helen Carr, Percy’s father William Nesbit Hall had been born in Mildmay, Bruce County where the family farmed. By the 1881 Canada census, William and some of his siblings had moved to the district of Marquette in Manitoba area. Percy’s mother Bathia Robertson was the daughter of Scottish immigrants James and Bathia (née Lindsay) Robertson who had settled in the Goderich area of Huron County to farm. Sometime before the 1891 Canada census, they too had moved to the district of Marquette.
William and Bathia married on 9 December 1891 in the municipality of South Norfolk, Marquette, Manitoba. It appears that they had only the one child, Percy. By the 1901 census William, Bathia and Percy were living in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba with William working as a general labourer. Living nearby was William’s brother George and family. By 1906 William, Bathia, and Percy were living in Winnipeg on Ellice Avenue, taking in a couple of boarders. A short time later, William and Bathia moved to Victoria, British Columbia and for the 1911 census were living with two of William’s sisters, Agnes and Anne. William was working as a carpenter. Percy had gone back to the Portage la Prairie area and was working as a labourer on the Sylvester Darling farm.
On 9 December 1912 Percy married Emma Alcock in Kenora, Ontario. Percy’s usual residence was given as Treherne, Manitoba, while Emma, daughter of George and Emma (née Barker) Alcock, lived on the outskirts of Kenora in Jaffray where the family farmed. Percy and Emma’s first child Percival William was born 24 October 1913. Percy’s occupation was given as car checker on the birth record and the family was living at 104 Third Street, Rideout Estate, Kenora. Another child Garnet Clifford Stanley Hall was born in 1915.
Percival James Hall enlisted with the 94th Overseas Battalion on 12 January 1916 in Kenora, occupation, like his father, listed as carpenter.
‘On May 25, 1916, the men of ‘C’ an ‘D’ Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for ‘Summer Camp’ as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the Olympic. Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, if actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front line units.’ (from the now defunct 94th Battalion website)
Once overseas Private Percival Hall was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 16th Battalion, joining the unit in the field in France on 27 September 1916. Just days later, on the 1st of October during the Battle of the Somme, he suffered gunshot/shrapnel wounds to his arm and lips. He was transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre and then admitted to the Birmingham War Hospital in Northfield on October 2nd. In December of 1916, Percy was transferred to the Military Hospital in Shorncliffe, eventually being discharged 2 March 1917. Percy suffered continually from myalgia/rheumatism and remained in England for the duration of the war in various hospitals and convalescent centres including The Beach in Walmer, Monks Horton in Kent, Buxton in Derbyshire, and a number of times in Shorncliffe.
Private Percy Hall was officially discharged from service on 8 January 1919 at the Canadian Discharge Depot in Buxton, and embarked from Liverpool on 24 January 1919 aboard the Grampian.
After the war Percy returned to Kenora and a third child, Evelyne Frances Hall, was born on 5 July 1920. Over the years Percy worked on the construction of the paper mill and as a carpenter with both Lindy Boatworks and Bergman and Nelson. His wife Emma died on 17 July 1971, and Percy followed her on 17 February 1975. At the time of his death he was survived by the three children, 20 grandchildren, and 31 great grandchildren.
Percy’s mother Bathia died in Essondale, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, on 12 January 1937, and his father William on 14 May 1949 in Sidney. His son Garnet died in 1975, son Percy in 1987, and daughter Evelyn (Hall) Farrell in 2007. Along with Percy and Emma, all are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
by Judy Stockham
research note: *alternate date of 23 September 1890 given in his obituary, a birth record could not be found
photograph of Percy in uniform: Lake of the Woods Museum Archives
family photographs: courtesy of the family