Thursday, September 10, 2009

Robert Joseph HALL (1921-1971)

My great-grandfather Norman HALL (1896-1972) had only one sibling, Claude HALL (1899-1984) with descendants who would be alive today, and I'd like to track down that family to share knowledge and stories of the HALL famiy. But the name 'HALL' makes it almost impossible to search for them, though it's possible if they ever search the internet for info on their ancestor 'Claude HALL' (a relatively rare name) they'll come across my blog.

Claude was born in 1899 in Dubbo NSW where his father Alfred was a school teacher, and the family must have moved almost immediately to Braidwood NSW where Alfred continued to teach. The family stayed in Braidwood till around 1911, then moved on to Junee. By around 1918 Alfred and his wife Bridget nee MOLONEY had settled in Sydney. When Claude left the family home is not known, but he joined the Lands department then the Justice Department where he served in a legal capacity living in a number of rural areas around NSW during his career.

In 1920 Claude married Clarinda Sarah NOWLAND, registered in the district of Tenterfield NSW. On 4 April 1921 their only child Robert Joseph HALL was born in Casino NSW (as stated on Robert's enlistment to the AIF in WW2). In 1930 Claude and family were living in Enfield (suburban Sydney) NSW and in 1936 they were living in rural Griffith NSW. The National Archives indexes reveal that with the advent of World War 2, Claude was living in Lithgow NSW (in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney) as he enlisted in the Volunteer Defence Corps (he would have been in his early fourties when he enlisted). By 1970 Claude was probably retired and living in Wollongong when his wife Clarinda died. In 1972 Claude married Eve CHALLENGER in Wollongong, and he died in on 2 Dec 1984, was cremated and his memorial is at the Wollongong Memorial Gardens, Tree Memorial, Memorial Tree Section 1, No. 16. I do not know what happened to Eve.

I have several short memory pieces regarding Claude from various HALL members in my line.
Claude's brother Norman HALL wrote in a letter in 1968:
"I should mention that my brother Claude became a magistrate and lived his life in the precincts of the Court. He married CLARINDA SARAH NOWLAND, they have one son BOB who fought in New Guinea. Claude is long since retired. He lives at Wollongong. His wife to is still hale & hearty. BOB is married, he has (I think) 7 kiddies."
Claude's nephew Francis Gerard Hall wrote in his family history work written in the mid-1980's:
"Claude Hall, the second child of Alfred and Bridget was born at Dubbo on 7-1-1899 and married Clarinda Sarah Nowland at Tenterfield NSW on 26-6-1920. Her family came from nearby Emmaville. They had one child only, Robert John, born about 1922. Clarinda was a refined woman who died in Wollongong of lung cancer in 1970. Robert married Maisie Rees of Concord and had seven children before the marriage failed. Robert died of a heart attack and road accident near Wollongong on Christmas eve 1971, and Maisie died about 1983 at Concord. They lived mainly in Lithgow.... Claude remarried on 25-11-1972 at St Francis Xavier Wollongong to a widow, Eve Challenger and lived at 18 Exeter Ave North Wollongong until he died of leukemia on 2-12-1984. I think Claude, Clarinda and Robert were all cremated in Wollongong. Claude commenced work in the Lands Dept at Wagga in 1916, studied law and worked and lived in such places as Dubbo, Braidwood, Junee, Hay, Tenterfield, Parramatta, Moss Vale, Glen Innes, Lithgow, Sydney and Wollongong. He served most of his time in court houses as clerk of petty sessions, chamber magistrate, coroner etc. Not a real sportsman – like Norman – he was a very likeable active person with a happy disposition."
Claude's nephew Joseph Gerrard Hall wrote in his memoirs written in the mid-1990's:
"Dad {Norman HALL} had a younger brother, Claude, who was born in Dubbo on 7 Jan 1889. Claude grew to be a tall, thin man with dark hair who married Clarinda Sarah Newland at Tenterfield on 26 June 1920. Clarinda (Auntie Clarisse) was one of a large country family. She was highly refined, remarkably attractive and possessed of a beautiful speaking voice. Regrettably they had only one son, Robert who was badly affected by his eyes and who suffered considerably the treatment rendered to his eyes. During our early years at Burwood {1920/30's}, Claude's family lived at Croydon Park and, by this time, Fafa {Norman's father Alfred Ernest HALL} had been transferred to Auburn thence North Strathfield and had bought his final home at 23 Scott St Croydon. Claude commenced work with the Lands Dept at Wagga but transferred to the Justice Dept where he studied law and received an early posting at Ballina. He served, 'interalia', at Moss Vale, Glen Innes, Griffith, Lithgow, Sydney and Wollongong in the capacities of Clerk of Petty Sessions, Coroner and Chamber Magistrate.

"Being fair, Fafa shared his Sundays between Claude and Dad - always working like a beaver in the garden. Claude was extremely popular with us boys. He had an insatiable sense of humour, particularly where human frailty was involved, and at times he was hard put to keep a straight face on the bench. He was a great company with us and we just loved to have him with us. I spent holidays with Claude, Clarisse and Bob in Moss Vale, Griffith, Lithgow and finally (with my son Gary then about eight years) at Wollongong."

So Claude and Clarinda had one son, Robert. All I knew from the National Archives was that he was born in 1921 in Casino, enlisted into the AIF in Lithgow NSW, and notes above highlight that he fought in New Guinea during the war. The NSW BDM records confirm that Robert married Eileen Maisie REES in Concord in 1946 (the year he was discharged officially from the AIF). NSW BDM records also confirm that Robert died in 1971, apparently from a car accident according to the above. The Ryerson index contained an entry for Robert's death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Sydney Morning Herald, 27 Dec 1971
Robert Joseph HALL 1971 death
'HALL, Robert Joseph ... December 24, 1971, as result of accident, of 2 Payne Avenue, West Wollongong, beloved husband of Eileen Maizie Hall, and loved father of Susan, Jennifer, Christopher, Michael, Catherine, Ann and Jane, dear son of Claude and the late Bobbie Hall, aged 50 years. Requiescat in pace.'

So now we at least know Robert's seven children. I hope one day I can make contact with them.

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