Hello folks – I have a very important request here from blog contributor, friend and historian David Evans who is helping a team from the Netherlands uncover the history of the forces that liberated their village of Dieteren in 1945. One of the lads to be lost was from Walsall Wood, Trooper Henry Hall.
My thanks and best wishes to all involved in this, it’s a stunning example of collaborative history and international cooperation, which is hugely prescient in light of the times.
I’ll let David explain:
Very recently a request was posted in the comments on Brownhills Bob’s blog for information about a Walsall Wood soldier who had been killed in action in the Netherlands during the Second World War.
Thanks to the wonders of technology – the blog primarily, the internet , the super help given by fellow reader and contributor Andy Dennis, it has been possible to complete most of the request.
In the Netherlands there is an ongoing local history project to honour those who gave their lives to liberate the village of Dieteren, whereby local resident Mr Henk Penders and others have been compiling a book.
Following a Messenger call with Henk he sent me these links to the site detailing the history – they are in Dutch but if you open in Chrome they translate beautifully to English – they detail a remarkable military liberation operation in which Trooper Hall from Walsall Wood gave his all:
The remarkable level of detail in what is a fascinating story, both of the events and subsequent historical detective work, is a credit to Henk and those involved. It’s a touching and wonderful thing.
So here’s where help is needed from the community: What of Trooper Hall?
Trooper Henry Hall served in the 9th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. The 1939 census confirms the military record, and that he lived in Walsall Road, Walsall Wood before enlisting.
David and Henk are trying to locate surviving members of the Hall family, that Henry may be honoured for his sacrifice. It’s possible that Ivy Hall may still be living locally (that would be possibly Ivy’s maiden name).
If you can help, please contact Bob by commenting here, or emailing him on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or pull him aside and have a word on social media, please.
I would like to express my personal thanks to Mr Andy Dennis for his help and to Brownhills Bob for his expertise and assistance, and to Mr Henk Penders in the Netherlands for his amazing work to honour our fallen.