“Uncle” Reginald as I knew him was my paternal grandmother’s brother, so he was really my great uncle. He and I were very close and in some ways quite alike. We both lived on boats for a time, although I only knew him when he lived at my grandmother’s house in a downstairs bedroom at 48 the Link, Anlaby Park, Hull where I spend a lot of time when I was a young boy.
While there he built me a toy garage made of wood which he brightly painted in vivid colours. I’m told I was his favourite, certainly when he passed away he left me his World War One trench diaries for 1916-1918 which Debbie and Alex transcribed for me over the past 15 years. In latter years this has really brought him to life again for me.
The images below show his war record which shows he enlisted at age 29 and was working at the Post Office as a telegraphist in Hull, East Yorkshire. He had a difficult war which affected him deeply.
His full name was Reginald Dickon Hall and I think he would have approved of “High Willows”, although I suspect he would have turned it into more of a smallholding breeding rabbits, as he dreamt of back in 1918.
He was very religious and a well read philosopher, but he was also a man with an eye for the ladies and in particular those from France! I’ve got this information not only from the diaries but also from my father’s surviving younger sister Auntie Dorothy.
The annotation at the bottom of the photo showing “Reg” sharing a tent with some pals was written by my father John Evelyn Shores who writes he was born on the 20th September 1885, or nearly 130 years ago.
They were very close, dad often told me hilarious stories about the two of them on holiday in the Norfolk Broads where the boat nearly sank when the tide came in or one of them fell in on return from the pub late one night…
Sadly missed but never forgotten!