James Hall

Medals awarded

  • Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Military Medal
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19
  • King George VI Coronation Medal 1937

James (Jack) Hall was born on 26th of January 1893 in Murton, County Durham. In the 1901 census he is recorded as living with his father, John; a miner, mother Margaret and two brothers, John W and Thomas and three sisters, Ellen, Hannah and Annie.  In the 1911 census return, he is 18 and working as a miner and living with the family at 38 Silver Street in Murton.

He joined the Yorkshire Regiment on the 15th of December 1914, was posted to the 3rd Battalion and very soon afterwards sent to France.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery during fighting near the French town of Armentières. On 19th of December 1915, the batallion was facing heavy bombardment from German artillery as well aerial torpedoes. As a result of this shell fire a wall collapsed, burying two soldiers, one of whom was Jack Robinson, his brother-in-law. Despite being under fire from the enemy, James dug out the stricken men, although Robinson, lost an arm in the incident.

In recognition of his bravery and for receipt of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, James was presented with an engraved cigarette case by the people of Murton village. This case, along with James’ medals, and a strip of cloth from his brother-in-law Jack Robinson’s uniform which contains a letter to Jack Robinson’s mother are now part of the museum collection.

In addition to the DCM, James was also awarded the Military Medal. However, the records detailing the reasons for him receiving it were destroyed during the Second World War. What is known, is that at some stage in the war James suffered a shrapnel wound that caused him to lose part of his lung.

James had four children; Jack, James, Mary and Irene. He died, aged 75, on 17th of March 1968 and is buried in the cemetery of St Joseph’s RC Church, Murton.