Published By John Davies
Samuel Hall was born at Whixall in 1885. He was the eldest child of Samuel Hall and Clara Chadwick. In the 1891 census his mother is listed as Clara Chadwick working as a governess for James and Mary Clomands and their 4 children at Rhosweil. His father is listed as living at Hollinswood near Whixall and married to Margaret with 5 children aged from 1 month to 9 years. Samuel himself is at his father’s grandmother’s house at Hollinswood. Also there was an aunt and uncle. All three adults worked as market gardeners. By 1901, Samuel and Clara had married and had moved to Oswestry, living at Parry’s Buildings, Castle Street where his father worked as a market gardener. Also present were his father’s children. It seems that Samuel was conceived ex- marital, as his father’s wife, Margaret, died and he then married Clara.
In his enlistment papers Samuel gives his occupation as a market trader & hawker – it is possible he earned his living at one of the Oswestry Markets, possibly connected to his father’s market (gardening and selling produce). In his younger days, too, Samuel was convicted for playing pitch and toss, a street gambling game that was illegal under the Street Betting Act 1906. He served a 14 day sentence. His enlistment papers show that he had served at least a year with the Shropshire Yeomanry but had resigned when he had left the district. His papers also show that he had married Alice Maud Smith on 11 April 1914 – they had a child, Edith Agnes Hall, born in October 1910 at Holywell – this is possibly the time when Samuel had ‘left the district’. He cannot be identified in the 1911 census but at the outbreak of war they were living in Oswestry at 3 Cripplegate and later at 3 Llwyn Road. By the end of the war Alice was living at 31 Oakhurst Road.
Samuel was KIA on 25 September 1915 at the Battle of Loos – the battalion was to support the 2 lead battalions. They moved into the Battle area to trenches at Clerk’s Post near to Vermelles. The attack was launched between 5AM and 6AM after an intense bombardment and gas discharge. The battalion penetrated right through the German lines to Cite St Elie where they held out for 2 days before being withdrawn. On this day the battalion had casualties of 43 KIA, 246 wounded and 135 missing – Samuel was listed as ‘killed or since, presumed dead’. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.