Lieut.-Colonel Peter Geoffrey Bown HALL, D.S.O. (148942)

Commanded the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from July 1961 to July 1964.

Peter Hall born on the 20th August 1919 at Weston-su­per-Mare to a middle-class Anglo-Irish family. He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol. As a keen sportsman he excelled in cricket (cricketing wicket-keeper) and hockey, representing Ireland in the latter. At the outbreak of the Second World War he attended Officer Cadet Training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

On the 14th September 1940, Peter Hall was commissioned (War Emergency Commission) as 2nd Lieutenant in to the 11th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment. At the time the 11th Battalion was stationed on Hereford racecourse. As a platoon commander (with 32 men) Peter Hall was given the job of defending three miles of coastal defenses north of Great Yarmouth on Caister golf-course.

After the amalgamation of the 11th Battalion with the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in January 1943, he became the Battalion Weapons Training Officer.

In June 1944, he landed in Normandy with the 1st Battalion. During the first major attack on enemy positions at the village of Mouen, whilst leading a platoon of 'C' Company, he was badly wounded. Wounded in the left arm, buttock and shoulder, he stayed with his men until the action was completed and was eventually evacuated back to England to a Military Hospital in Surrey.

After treatment he was given short leave, after which he was ordered to report to a transit camp at Cowley Barracks, Oxford. Here he was told by the Commandant that his duties were to tour the munitions factories and tell the lady workers how much we, the fighting troops, appreciated their great efforts.

In August 1944 he returned back to France and after passing through a transit camp, eventually returned to the 1st Battalion and reported to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Osborne-Smith who was Commanding Officer. At the time the Battalion was resting at the village of Vernonnet on the east bank of the Seine.

Lieut.-Colonel P. G. B. Hall, DSO

He was promoted to Temporary Captain on 29th September, 1944, and to Acting Major on 9th March, 1945.

He was awarded the D.S.O. for gallantry while commanding 'A' Company of the 1st Battalion at the Ahlhorn Crossroads action in April, 1945, as a very young Acting Major (London Gazette date 21st June 1945). He continued to serve in North West Europe with the 1st Battalion until he was again wounded (in the right eye and ear) at the end of April, 1945, in the Cloppenburg Forest actions during the advance to Bremen.

Peter Hall receiving his D.S.O.
from Montgomery (1945)

He was then evacuation to a R.A.P. for treatment and was then returned to England, Sussex to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. After minor plastic surgery to my right ear and the right side of my face, he again returned to the 1st Battalion two week before the final surrender of all German forces in NW Europe.

After the war, for the next three years, he became a Tactical Instructor at the newly formed All Arms Rhine Training Centre, Sennelager, B.A.O.R., followed by a further year as a General Staff Officer (Grade 2) GSO2 - a Major, attached to the Armed Service, the Royal Air Force at their HQ at Bückeburg Germany - as an Air Liaison Officer.

He rejoined the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, in Malaya, in July, 1951, as Company Commander (Temporary Major) of "D” Company, and he was Mentioned in Despatches for his leadership under enemy against the Communist Terrorists on 1st May, 1953.

He was employed with the Military Forces, Malaya, including being a Company Commander in the Malay Regiment (later the Royal Malaysian Regiment) and a Brigade Major in Malaya, from 20th June, 1953, to 17th September, 1956.

He went out to Cyprus at (very!) short notice for the Suez Campaign in 1956 and was appointed Staff Officer GSO2 (Ops/Air) in Cyprus. From 1957 to 1959 he was an instructor and a Company Commander at the Officer Cadet School, Eaton Hall, Chester, and at its later move to Mons O.C.S., Aldershot.

He rejoined the 1st Battalion, then in the Caribbean, in September, 1959, first as Company Commander of “E” Company in Jamaica, subsequently as Company Commander of “D” Company at Nassau, Bahamas, and then as Second-in-Command of the Battalion.

Presented to Colonel Hall by 1st Special Forces


Colonel Peter Hall's medals

He returned from the Caribbean with the 1st Battalion in March, 1960, and continued as Second-in-Command, now at Norton Barracks, Worcester, until assuming Command in succession to Lt. Colonel J. W. B. Stuart, M.B.E., M.C., at Worcester, on 4th July, 1961.

He took the 1st Battalion out to the Caribbean once more—this time to British Honduras (now Belize) for internal security duties in connection with the disastrous “Hurricane Hattie”— in early November, 1961, returning with the Battalion just in time for Christmas at Worcester.

He took the 1st Battalion out to Minden, Germany in December, 1962, where he commanded it in 11 Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Lieut.-Colonel Hall’s next appointment was Commandant at the Jungle Warfare School, Johore Bahru, Malaya, in March 1963 which also involved in the conflict in Borneo.

In 1967 after 27 years of eventful professional soldering Colonel Peter Hall D.S.O. finally retired from the army and took up a management training position in the insurance industry.

Colonel Peter Hall died at home on the 21st October 2005 (age 86). His funeral was held on Monday 31st October 2005, at the Worth Crematorium, Balcombe Road, Crawley. The Regiment was represented at the funeral by Brigadier Pat Hargrave (a former Colonel of the 1st Battalion), Colonel Peter Holmes and Major Leslie Barron. Major Johnnie Davies (Canadian Officer) who served as a platoon commander in Colonel Hall's Company in WW2 gave an address at the funeral.

Substantive Rank promotions (London Gazette)

Promoted to Lieutenant in 1946 (9th February 1946)

Promoted to Captain in 1946 (20th August 1946)

Promoted to Major in 1953 (20th August 1953)

Promoted to Lieut.-Colonel in 1961 (5th July 1961)

Retired from the army in 1967 (11th November 1967)

Colonel Peter Hall's funeral (31st October 2005)