Sidney Hall was the son of Mr and Mrs George Hall of 2 Cecil Street, Stourbridge, and attended Wollaston School and the Wesleyan Sunday School at Gig Mill. Before 1914 he lived at 55 Enville Street. He was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy and served as a gunner on HMS Queen Mary. This vessel was one of the fast battle cruisers in the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron under Admiral Beatty based at Rosyth in 1914. Its task was to destroy the German High Seas Fleet if it sailed into the North Sea. The German attempt on the 31st July 1916 to provoke a battle meant that Beatty ordered the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron out immediately, while the Dreadnoughts of the Grand Fleet under Admiral Jellicoe sailed from Scapa Flow. Beatty's force, which was both faster and closer to the threat, met the German battle cruisers off Jutland at about 2.30 p.m. A gunnery duel took place for about two hours, during which Indefatigable was sunk at 4.05 and Queen Mary at 4.26. In each case flash from a German shell on a gun turret penetrated to the magazine causing a great explosion. Some six hours later Stoker George Donovan from Oldswinford died in HMS Invincible, another battle cruiser. Nevertheless, the arrival of the Grand Fleet eventually forced a German withdrawal and the High Seas Fleet never emerged again. Able Seaman Sidney Hall was 22 years of age and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and the Stourbridge and St. John's and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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