Russell McKay Hall

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Russell McKay Hall
Initiated; Oxford Lodge #76
October 11, 1915.

Canadian Infantry,
Died; May 28, 1918.
Buried; Stallhille Churchyard Belgium


Lieut. Russell McKay Hall
Lieut. Fred Reilly

The following extracts from a letter written by Capt. W.J. McKenzie, R.A.F. London England, on February 22, 1919, to Mrs. Reilly of Welland Ont. Concerns the death and burial of Mrs. Reilly’s son, Lieut. F.H. Reilly, R.A.F., pilot and Russell M. Hall, 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles and R.A.F. observer who is a son of Mrs. J.J. Hall Ingersoll, formerly of this city. On May 28th, 1918. Lieut. Hall was first reported missing, and later, on August 8, 1918, he was reported killed on that date. He enlisted early in the War.

During our stay in Belgium, which was previously occupied by Germans, I have by chance found the grave of your son, Fred and his observer, Russell M. Hall, and by a bit of luck have been able to obtain a certain amount of information which I know will be most welcome by you.

On May 28th, 98 Squadron were bombing Bruges Docks, and as is usually the case with bombers they got separated from one another in going over their target with observer, was on his way home alone (I mean were not with any other machines).

Fred and his observer may have had numerous difficulties after the first fight, which would be hard for me to explain, such as engine gone wrong: It may have been hit in a vital part, or they may have been wounded etc.. While any one of them would have placed them at a great disadvantage. Fred and Hall were buried with the highest military honors.

Von Mouch who was the Kommendant of the town ordered they be buried in consecrated ground, regardless of their religion. The funeral was headed by a band and immediately behind the gun - carriage, the two pilots who were in the scrap followed. The last post was played, a volley fired and two machines flew overhead during the ceremonies.

Stallhille is midway between Bruges and Ostend on the northern side of the canal. There is only one church in the village and their graves are on the right side going in.