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  • Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
12 Apr 1889
Marske Richmond Yorkshire
Alexander Kilburn was the only son of Joseph and Jane Anne Hall (née Kilburn). His father Joseph was born in Old Swinford, Worcestershire, in 1860, the son of Shirley Hall and his wife Jane. In 1881 Joseph was a school master and living in Marske, Richmond, Yorkshire, a boarder in the home of Richard Plews, an agricultural worker, and his wife. His mother Jane Anne was born in Bainbridge, Yorkshire, in 1864, the daughter of Alexander Kilburn. Joseph and Jane were both living in Marske, Yorkshire, when they were married in the parish church on 19 December 1885. They had four children, one of whom died in childhood: Shirley b. Marske 1886 bap. Marrick 25 December 1886; Alexander Kilburn b. Marske 12 April 1889 bap. Marrick 9 June 1889; Gladys Alexandra b. Nottingham 1896 d. 1898 and Phyllis b. Bridlington 1906 bap. Christ Church 1 August 1906. In 1891 Joseph (31), described as a retired school master, and Jane (26) were living on Regent Crescent, Richmond, with their two children, Shirley (4) and Alexander (1). Their daughter Gladys was born in Nottingham five years later but died aged two years. By 1901 the family was living on Village Street, Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire. Joseph was a school teacher. Also in the household was Jane's sister, Rose Alice Kilburn (28) of no occupation (m. 1905, reg. Bingham). Joseph and Jane had moved to Bridlington by the time their third daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1906 and in 1911 were living at Clyde Villa, Windsor Crescent. Joseph was a retired school master. Their eldest daughter Shirley may have married in Bridlington in 1909. Alexander was working as a shop assistant (house furnishings) and he and a fellow shop assistant (house furnishings) were boarders in the household of Mary Adams (68), an upholsterer, at 17 Salisbury Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent. Alexander married Jean Stephanie Pope (b. 9 August 1893) at St Stephen, Shepherd's Bush, London, on 19 September 1916, less than three weeks before he was killed in action. The marriage certificate gave Alexander's residence as Bridlington. His widow married Albert H Williams in 1918 and in 1939 she was living with her husband, a mining engineer and company director, and their two daughters in Eastbourne, Sussex. She died on 15 September 1973.
Educated Nottingham High School. In 1911 he was employed as a shop assistant (house furnishings) in Thanet Kent.
07 Oct 1916
27
788408 - CWGC Website
Captain
The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Initially a private in 18th Royal Fusiliers, Alexander Hall then joined 8th Bn The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) as a private before being commissioned and promoted captain in the 6th battalion. Alexander was killed on 7 October 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 11 C). The offensive that came to be known as the Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916. 12th Division relieved 8th Division in the front line later in the day after the 8th had suffered heavy casualties, 6th Bn Queen's relieving 2nd Bn Rifle Brigade. The following day, orders were received for the 12th to push the capture of Ovillers while the 19th Division advanced to their right against La Boisselle and X Corps to their left attacked the Leipzig Salient. The attack began at 3.15am on the 3rd July. However, to the division's left the X Corps attack had been postponed which enabled the machine guns of the Leipzig Redoubt to concentrate on 12th Division. The Division had attacked to a two Brigade front with 35th Brigade to the right, 37th Brigade to the left. Within 37th Brigade, 6th Bn Queen's were to the right in the first wave, and 6th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment were on the left. The German line held, and the 6th Queen's losses were high, 10 out of 18 officers and 294 other ranks becoming casualties. The battalion remained in the Somme area until 14th August 1916 when once again it moved north to trenches to the south of Arras, in the valley of the River Crinchon, near Beaurains. The area was described as 'quiet'. However, the British lines were at a disadvantage to the German lines due to the topology of the valley: "our position, running along the valley of the Crinchon, was very much dominated by that of the Germans on the rising ground to the east, especially near Beaurains, and whereas all of our communications trenches were on the forward slope of the hill and so in full view of the enemy, his were over the rise and practically unseen." This can be easily observed with reference to the contours of the trench map to the east of Wailly. The German lines were out of direct view of the British behind the rise, and any attacker approaching from the west would be silhouetted on the crest. To maintain observation of the British front line a number of short trenches, or 'saps' had been driven out into 'no man's land'. These saps were often the subject of nocturnal raiding parties, whose aim was usually to gather information on the enemy. 6th Bn Queens participated in a number of these before once again moving south to the Somme battlefield on 26th September 1916. Once again involved in the Battle of the Somme, 6th Bn Queens took part in a major action on 7th October 1916 near Gueudecourt, and then returned to their previous area of operations in the Crinchon Valley south of Arras on 19th October 1916.
WMR 35685: Bridlington WW1 ROH. Dedication: ‘To the Glory of God and in memory of the men of Bridlington who gave their lives for their country during the Great War 1914-1919. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.' Names include 'Capt. AK Hall'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Alexander Kilburn Hall - Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
  • Bridlington Roll of Honour, The Priory, Bridlington, East Yorkshire. © Mike Wilson (WMR-35685)
    Alexander Kilburn Hall - Bridlington Roll of Honour, The Priory, Bridlington, East Yorkshire. © Mike Wilson (WMR-35685)