Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Major Arthur Hall (1889-1971)

The Culbert Family History blog presents a memoir of Arthur Hall, written by his daughter, Lynda Hall Hunter. Arthur was the great-grandson of John Culbert and Mary Ward.

Arthur Hall (left) with his brother, Albert Hall.

ARTHUR HALL: A memoir by his daughter, Lynda Hall Hunter

My dad, Arthur Hall, was the youngest child of Charles Hall and Anne Jane Dagg. He was born in Kincardine, Ontario, on January 14, 1889. Charles Hall, son of Jane and James Hall, had immigrated to Canada as a young boy from Ireland. Anne Jane Dagg was born in Biddulph Township, Ontario, to Richard Dagg and Elizabeth "Eliza" Culbert, from Ireland.

Dad was in his twenties when talk of war loomed close. Like so many other Canadian men, he was anxious to join the effort. Tired of waiting for Canada to completely commit, he went to Toronto and signed up with the British Navy, under His Majesty King George V. From there, he served with
The Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (R.N.C.V.R.) Overseas Division as an Ordinary Seaman and was later ranked as Petty Officer. 

After three months of training with the British Navy, and Canada now fully involved in the war effort, he asked for a transfer into the Canadian Naval Service. He was assigned to different sea-going ships; Victory, Idaho, Vivid 111, and Niobe from November 29th, 1916 to April 5th, 1919. 

Dad served on the Niobe the longest where it patrolled the approaches to the St. Lawrence River, and then joined the Royal Navy’s 4th Cruiser Squadron to patrol off New York City. At one point, the Niobe was engaged in intercepting German ships along the American coast. For the most part these ships were on minesweeping duties.

Before WWII broke out, Dad had joined the Militia Infantry, in London, Ontario. After many courses, he qualified as Major Arthur Hall.

On September 18th, 1943 he married my mother, Roberta Iola Cowan.

Art Hall & Roberta Cowan's wedding day.

They had three children: Ronald Gary, Richard Douglas, and Lynda Jane

Art & Roberta's children. Left to right: Gary Hall, Lynda Hall, and Doug Hall.

Dad had an incredible thirst for reading. One of my jobs as a teenager was to go the library for him and collect 10 or 12 books at a time. I remember telling my boyfriend (my husband now) to look for a small pencil mark on the back page. If there was a mark, return it, and keep looking. After a couple of hours, we finally came up with enough books. For dad, these books were like new found treasures. I also remember many times pulling a loaded wagon full of books to trade with Lorne Hall Sr. Apparently Lorne had the same affliction.

It was rare to see dad sit down at the dinner table without a tie and suit coat. It was amusing to watch him fuss with his serving dishes so that his food choices didn’t touch. I can’t imagine what would have happened if the stewed tomatoes dared to touch the mashed potatoes. As usual as it was to see him in a tie and suit coat at meal time, it was just as usual to see him out (pre-dawn) weeding his garden in his pyjamas.

He loved to play cards, especially cribbage, and excelled at crossword puzzles. He read as many newspapers as he could get his hands on, and Perry Mason was his favourite TV show. And for him, there was nothing better than dropping by the Legion for a visit with his old war buddies.

Dad died February 11th, 1971 in his 83rd year, and we miss him.

Arthur Hall's Family Tree:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (great-grandparents)
Eliza Culbert & Richard Dagg (grandparents)
Anne Jane Dagg & Charles Hall (parents)

Richard Douglas Hall
Ronald Gary Hall
Lynda (Hall) Hunter 

Arthur Hall is buried in Kincardine Cemetery.

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