Arthur Harold Vernon Hale
Arthur Harold Vernon Hale, enlistment No. 15101 in the 10th Field Artillery Brigade (F.A.B) on the 27th October 1915. He was born at Fremantle in 1892 to parents William Henry Hale and Mary Ann John. His occupation was given as 'Civil Servant'. He embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT “Port Lincoln” on the 4th May 1916. He disembarked in Egypt and joined the Artillery Training School at Tel-El-Kebir. He was reverted to the Rank of Corporal on the 21st July 1916 for neglect of duty but had redeemed himself by the 29th July 1916 where he was promoted to Acting Sergeant. On the 20th August 1916 Vernon was sent to Park House in England for further training before being sent to France on the 30th December 1916.
Vernon was admitted to hospital on the 26th August 1917 suffering from inflammation of the connective tissue on his right leg then returned to duty on the 2nd September and changed from the 8th F.A.B to the 12th F.A.B which was attached to the 4th Division seeing action on the Western Front in the following battles: Pozieres, Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, Bullecourt, Messines, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Villers Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens, Albert and the Hindenburg Line.
On the 23th September 1917, while on the Menin / Ypres Rd, Vernon was in a dugout that was blown up burying him for several hours causing chest and neck injuries. He then spent some time recovering in France from his wounds and shell shock, not returning to duty until 14th May 1918. While on furlough in England in September 1918 Vernon was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with curvature of the spine or Scoliosis. He was invalided and returned to Australia on the “Sardinia” in October 1918, contracting influenza on the trip home. He was discharged on the 6th June 1919.
In civilian life Vernon worked in Titles Office of the Lands Department in Perth and in 1923 he married Linda Moar. Vernon had developed Tuberculosis on his return from the war and was advised to seek fresh air which he did by building a war service house in Darlington in1922 (39 Darlington Rd). Linda and Vernon had a son in 1924 (John Blagdon Hale) but sadly in January 1925, Vernon at the age of 32 died from T.B at the Edward Millen Soldiers Home in Victoria Park. Vernon and his family had been active parishioners at St Pauls Church in Beaconsfield. On the 13th December 1926 the Hale family dedicated a chair to the church which was made by Vernon’s father William and the carvings were done by his sister Beatty. The ceremony was conducted by Archbishop Riley. Upon a brass shield, on the chair we're the words: -
“Presented to St. Paul’s Church in loving memory of No. 15101 Gunner Vernon Hale late, of the 29th Battery, 8th Field Artillery, died as result of war injuries, January 24 1925 aged 32 years”.
Memorial Chair made by Vernon’s family in his honour 1926
Vernon’s Widow Linda returned to her home state of South Australia, remarried and had 3 more children. Vernon’s son John was assisted in his schooling by the Legacy organisation which paid for him to attend boarding school in Adelaide. He went on to serve in World War two in the 101 Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment from 1943-1946. He returned to S.A., married and had a son and daughter. Sadly his daughter died in a car accident in 1980.
Courtesy Lyn Myles, Mark Hale and Dulcie Hale