Captain Douglas Alexander Hall was the only son of Major Douglas Hall of Burley-on-the-Hill and his wife Minnie. He was invalided home twice during the First World War, both times returning to the front line as soon as he was able. He was born on 27 October 1894, at Colchester Cavalry Barracks, Essex where his father served with the Life Guards, and was educated at Oakham School. A keen cross-country runner, he won the three and one mile races and continued with the sport after he had joined up. Douglas enlisted at the start of the war, aged 19, as a Private in the 5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. In December he took a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Yorks and Lancs Regiment. He went out to France in September 1915 and took part in fighting at Loos, Armentieres, Arras, and other places. After being wounded at Armentieres at the end of 1915, Douglas returned to the front the following summer, and was sent home again with fever in November 1916. He again returned to the front on 14 March 1917, and took part in the Battle of Arras. While in command of his company, leading them in an attack on the 23 April 1917, he was shot in the head by a machine gun bullet, killing him instantly. His father received a telegram grimly familiar to bereaved families across the country: "The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country, and their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow." Letters from brother officers expressed their deepest sympathy at the loss of "a most gallant officer." Douglas is buried in Chili Trench Cemetery, and has a special memorial in row B.3 because it is not known exactly where his grave is located. His headstone has the inscription: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life saith the Lord.' Douglas is also remembered at Burley on the Hill and in Oakham School Chapel.
Picture below of Oakham School Cricket First XI courtesy Andrew Renshaw, author of Wisden on the Great War.
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