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Arras Memorial, France Arras Memorial, France
First Name: Harold Cecil Last Name: HALL
Date of Death: 19/05/1917 Lived/Born In: Brentford
Rank: Private Unit: Middlesex8
Memorial Site: 1. Brentford Memorial 2. Arras Memorial, France

Current Information:

Born-Westbourne Park

 

Although the official History records the Battle of Arras as finishing on 16th May, that did not mean that fighting on that front stopped on that date. Objectives that had not been taken were still on the Command’s wish list and none more so than Infantry Hill, or Hill 100 as it was also known, just beyond the village of Monchy,  possession of which would provide a useful vantage point of the enemy positions. On 19th May, 1917, there was an unsuccessful attempt to capture it made by 87 Brigade, 29th Division, an attack that was supported on the right by 8th Middlesex of 167 Brigade, 56th Division. When the attack went in at 9pm they made a frontal assault on those parts of Tool Trench still in German hands. Because other parts of this trench were already occupied by 8th Middlesex the barrage that preceded this attack could only be made by light trench mortars and rifle grenades which in the event proved inadequate. Nevertheless twenty five men got into the German lines where for two hours they waged a fierce bombing (grenade) fight but because enemy machine-guns prevented reinforcements from making it across to join them, they were eventually forced to fall back to their starting line. This relatively minor incident achieved nothing other than the deaths of around twenty men from 8th Middlesex and wounding of another thirty more. Harold Hall was one of those killed.

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