|This web page is dedicated
to my dad's younger brother
Maynard Wardle Hall
1922 to 1943
by Audrey Fletcher
|Maynard Wardle Hall
He was my dad's younger brother
Family Photo Collection
Maynard Wardle Hall, born 1922, was the third son of John Davison HALL (1891-1985) and May WARDLE
(1898-1968). He attended Eighton Banks School, which was along Galloping Green, and opposite St. Thomas's
Church. The family moved from Blackims Hill, Eighton Banks to Vale House, Eighton Banks, which was only a matter
of a couple of hundred yards along the road. It was just down from The Lambton Arms.
Uncle Maynard was a talented artist, especially with the pen and ink drawings. He also wrote poetry. My grandparents
always had his War Poem "El Alamein" and pen and ink drawings on display in their living room.
Uncle Maynard was a clerk in the local council. His parents were so proud that he did not work down the pit. Ironically,
if he had worked down the pit he would not have needed to go to War, as being a coal miner was a reserved
occupation. Before he went overseas Maynard recorded a message to his parents on a silver coloured record. It was
given to my dad, and I played it many times when I was young. On the reverse side was the song "Open Up Them
Uncle Maynard served in North Africa and Italy. His parents, my grandparents, had a colourful wooden plaque made
commemorating the various battles he fought in and this always hung on the wall in the living room. Sadly Maynard
was killed in action when he was fighting in Sicily on 14th July 1943. He was only 21. My grandad told my dad
(Maynard's brother) that he had been killed instantly by a clean shot from a sniper. However before he died in 1985
my Grandad Hall told my dad that Maynard had been blown to bits, there was nothing left. This was the first time he
was able to speak of it.
Following upon his death my Grandma and Grandad Hall received their son Maynard's War Medals. They arrived at
Vale House in a small brown cardboard box, 3.25 inches by 2.25 inches, that's about 8 by 6 cms.
The HYMN BOARD in St. Thomas's Church, along Galloping Green, Eighton Banks, is dedicated to MAYNARD
WARDLE HALL, in his memory.
After the War Grandma and Grandad Hall went to visit Maynard's grave at Syracuse War Cemetery 3. Plot: VII.
G. 15, Sicily in Italy. They were devastated when they returned home, and were like lost souls. Grandma Hall was
never too well afterwards.
Maynard Hall was dearly loved and greatly missed by his family. In God's Care.
Now once again the line moved on
As officers gave the word.
But some still lay with eyes unseeing,
And ears that had not heard,
Ears that couldn’t catch the thrill,
Of the distant pipes again,
That wafted through the battle din,
And stirred the advancing men,
Many a prayer was voiced that night,
Amid that hellish roar, by lips till
then unversed in prayer
By lips that pray no more
As on they went through stinging fumes
Through dust and powder smoke,
That hung around them as they moved
Like a ghostly yellow cloak,
Onward through the hail of death,
Of bomb and mortar shell,
That shook the burning earth beneath,
There, in that man-made HELL.
But inevitably the dawn must come,
And creeping through so slow,
Reluctantly the sun looked down,
On the carnage wrecked below,
No plumes or bright accoutrement
Revealed that morning sun,
Just dour warriors, denim clad,
Whose objective had been won.
And around them slowly filtered through,
To form a ring of steel,
The mighty monsters of the fray,
Their shattering blow to deal.
Their initiation was complete,
They passed that night through Hell,
Their reward the satisfaction from the words,
“A job to do DONE WELL.”
Written by Maynard Wardle Hall
51st Highland Division
Died in Sicily, 14th July 1943
The Night of October 23rd 1942
by Maynard Wardle Hall
A long thin line of men advanced
Like shadows in the sand,
Without a sound, save the scuff of feet,
And the whispered word of command.
The start line reached, a pause, then on,
Each man now tense and grim,
And suddenly the night was rent,
As big guns roared their battle hymn.
Like demons spewing smoke and flame,
In a half circle from behind,
And now the circle was complete,
As the Hun replied in kind.
The terrible symphony of war,
In mad crescendo swells,
The c-c-rump of guns, the shining,
and the shattering burst of shells,
The machine gun’s voice is added too,
In a vicious song of death,
Men stagger, fall, and writhe in pain,
Stifling groans with dying breath.
The thinning line of men advance,
Vowing revenge for those who fell,
As tracers, flares, and verey lights,
Make a fairyland of HELL.
Each minefield crossed, the men sink down,
But still in order lined,
To protect from any Bosche assault,
The sappers at work behind.
An occasional “clink”, a thud, a scrape,
Seeped through the battle din,
As sappers cleared the gaps, through which
The tanks would rumble in.
For the sand was sown with seeds that find,
These monster’s Achilles heels,
That blossom forth with deafening roars,
Wrecking trucks and bogie wheels,
And as they lay there, in their minds,
These five words echoed to,
The rhythm of the belching guns,
The armour must go through.
|Photo by Audrey Fletcher 2011
|Items and photos are from the family collection