L/Cpl Alfred Harry Hall - 7th Fd Coy

Headstone of L/Cpl Alfred Harry Hall in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France
Headstone of L/Cpl Alfred Harry Hall in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France

Sapper Alfred Harry Hall was born in Watford, Hereford, England in 1905 to Harry and Lydia Hall, of Caesarea, Ontario. He had a sister Phyllis. Alfred had work experience as a farmhand and a pioneer. He served with the 3rd Engineer Battalion, US Army Corps of Engineers (1925-28). He was married to Hilda Elizabeth and had two children – Joan and Bruce.

Alfred enlisted on 9 September 1939 in London, ON and his Attesting Officer was Major G.H. McTavish, Officer Commanding 1 Army Troops Company RCE- the same officer that was to command the Dieppe Raid Engineer force. Alfred joined 7th Field Company that had only been mobilized siince 1 September. The company first trained in the London area and then concentrated for training at Camp Petawawa, ON. During this training he was qualified as a Painter in April 1940.

The unit embarked for England from Halifax on 22 August 1940. Initially employed in England on camp construction at Aldershot, the 7th Fd Coy moved to Battle, Sussex in November 1941 as part of operational defence plan for the Sussex County area. On 15 March 1942 he was appointed Acting Lance Corporal. In May 1942, when 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve, the 7th Field Company moved to Eastborne, Sussex and settled down for what was expected to be a period of more construction and routine training. That was to change, however, when more intense training began in preparation for the Dieppe Raid.

During the Dieppe Raid, Lance Corporal Hall was a member of the Millar Party of 55 All Ranks organized into four teams. He belonged to Sergeant Lill’s 19-man “C” team whose primary task was to demolish an assigned number of cranes the in dock area in the town of Dieppe. On landing on RED Beach and under fire, the surviving team members assisted the advance up the beach and attempted to advance to their demolition targets in town. As with many of the landed troops, they were prevented from advancing from the beach because of the intense fire from the full range of German weapons. The team was hard-pressed to rally as most had drowned in the surf while labouring with their heavy loads, had been killed outright, or were suffering extreme wounds. Despite the best efforts to rally the team, they were unable to continue to advance towards their assigned demolition targets. Lance Corporal Hall was Killed in Action. He is buried in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France.

{…with research assistance by the Canadian Military Engineer Museum…}



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