8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles)
Frederick William Hall was born in Kilkenny, Ireland 21 February 1885. At the beginning of the First World War he was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and enlisted in the 8th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Company Sergeant-Major (CSM) Hall was awarded the Victoria Cross on 24 April 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium for giving up his life to save a wounded comrade. When the wounded man, who was laying 15 metres from the trench, called for help, Hall and two other soldiers endeavoured to reach him despite being subjected to very heavy enemy gunfire. This first attempt failed, the two men accompanying Hall being wounded. CSM Hall then made a second foray alone, and was in the process of lifting up the wounded man when he was fatally struck.
Hall was one of three winners of the Victoria Cross in the First World War whose homes were on Pine Street in Winnipeg. The other two were Leo Clarke and Robert Shankland. Pine Street has since been renamed Valour Road in honour of the three men, and reflecting the inscription on the Victoria Cross, “For Valour”.
“On 24th April, 1915, in the neighbourhood of Ypres, when a wounded man who was lying some 15 yards from the trench called for help, Company Serjeant-Major Hall endeavoured to reach him in the face of a very heavy enfilade fire which was being poured in by the enemy. The first attempt failed, and a Non-commissioned Officer and private soldier who were attempting to give assistance were both wounded. Company Serjeant-Major Hall then made a second most gallant attempt, and was in the act of lifting up the wounded man to bring him in when he fell mortally wounded in the head”.
(London Gazette, no.29202, 23 June 1915)
1914/15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal