Saturday, December 1, 2007

Letters of Norman Hall

My great grandfather Norman Hall (b. 1896 Dubbo NSW, d. 1972 Melbourne Vic) wrote at least three letters on his family history. One of these letters was written in the year prior to his death in 1971 to my aunt and father, who were then in their late teens. That typed five page letter is shown below, along with a transcript. While not everything Norman written is absolutely correct, his memories of the family, his usage of the English languag, and the stories he retells are a delight. The Hall family historian was my grandfather's brother Frank, and his handwritten anotations made at some later stage can be seen in the letter.

Norman's biography will be the subject of another post, and are made more easy thanks to his letters. Briefly, he was born in Dubbo in 1896, son of Alfred Ernest HALL, a teacher (1870 Yass NSW - 1954 Ashfield NSW) and Bridget Ann MOLONEY (1875 Redfern NSW - 1942 Ashfield NSW). He married Mary Ellen BANFIELD (1889 Hay NSW - 1940 Lewisham NSW) at St Francis, Paddington, NSW in Januar 1918, trained as a chemist, and they had seven children including my granfather John. After Mary Ellen died of stomach cancer in 1940, Norman looked after the children alone, and after moving to Wollongong he met and married Averil Agnes SAXON-JONES in 1951. They moved to Melbourne, where Norman lived the rest of his life. A more complete biography will be included in the future.

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