Captain Julian Henry Hall, 100107, Intelligence Corps

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Varasc, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear All,
    Good evening. I would like to ask your help, if possible, on my current search for the above mentioned Officer, Captain Julian Henry Hall, 100107, Intelligence Corp.
    My research previously started, some years ago, and is still summarized here,

    Unknown British Officer. Captain Porter, 1943

    I would like to know if you have any suggestion on how to contact his family, or to know more on his activities in Northern Italy during the war from the current heirs of the Intelligence Corp.
    Any help would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance,
    Marco
     
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Marco,

    Best to keep the theme alive on one thread, even if years have passed.
     
    Varasc likes this.
  3. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Varasc likes this.
  4. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    It may be that the current title holder did not inherit Sir Julians personal papers and they were left to another person or a museum or archive. Any such bequest may show in his will, a copy of which is available here for £ 1.50 sterling. Order & delivery is online.
    Find a will | GOV.UK
     
    Varasc likes this.
  6. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Very kind!
     
  7. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear All,
    I am still working on the search dedicated to Captain Hall. I am currently checking the National Archives records, available on the SOE topic and related issues. May I only ask if I am in the right place, here?

    Records of Special Operations Executive | The National Archives

    I also contacted several institutions, museum and historians related to the Intelligence Corps, and tried to write to David Stafford himself, whose book “Mission Accomplished” cited Captain Hall.

    Thank you for any possible suggestion.
    Best regards,
    Marco
     
    CL1 likes this.
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Marco they look like the correct SOE files but I am not an expert

    might be worth dropping
    Jedburgh22 a pm


    regards
    Clive
     
    Varasc likes this.
  9. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Thanks Clive, I'll ask him!
    Marco
     
    CL1 likes this.
  10. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear All,
    Good evening, a possible breakthrough. Mr. Roderick Bailey kindly pointed me in the right direction: it seems that an escape report was filled by Capt. Hall, and it's now available at the National Archives, file WO 208/4253.
    I'm now trying to understand how to reach it, since of course I can't afford a double quarantine, in England and at home.
    With my best regards,
    Marco
     
  11. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member

    Hello Varasc / Marco,

    I am tentatively assuming that you are familiar with:
    Marco Soggetto—Western Alpine Escapes
    within which Croft and Cheeseman are listed.

    My current best guess is that Captain JH Hall is I.S.9 associated and hence possibly of VERMOUTH, HILLTOP genre as introduced at 5. SPECIAL OPERATIONS (LAND):
    I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 3

    I noted that for some missions, it was not uncommon that a British/Commonwealth “serjeant was given the rank of captain and a suitable cover story ... provided,” so wondered if your Captain Hall fell into that category; but not so, given his inclusion under Special List at:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34726/supplement/7490/data.pdf
    and amongst Intelligence Corps at:
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34962/supplement/5888/data.pdf

    I asked a chum to see if he had been listed in an Intelligence Corps Obituary at the time of his death - yes, but no summary of war service. However, given his subsequent role as a critic for The Times, there could just be a brief reflection in their obituary Archives?

    I had a look in MRD Foot and JM Langley’s ‘MI9 Escape and Evasion 1939-1945’, but saw no mention there - you may have already looked. I also scanned the likely parts of AH LeQ Clayton’s ‘Forearmed’, unfortunately with the same result. Finally, noting his later media peacetime employments, I had a look in David Garnet’s ‘The Secret History of PWE’ in case of linkage there, but saw no mention.

    I won’t be at the National Archives for some time, but someone else might and may well assist. Hope you get joy there. I’ll continue to keep an eye open for Hall elsewhere though. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    Varasc likes this.
  12. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Quarterfinal,

    Thank you indeed, very kind! Yes, the link you posted concerns my book, “Braccati”. That’s me. This search started back then, and with some on and offs, it’s still ongoing today.
    I checked the sources you kindly mentioned as well, save from “Forearmed”, which I didn’t know. I bought all the available books on SOE and related topics, including MI9 as well. What I still lack is the report at the National Archives and of course to find Capt. Hall’s family.
    Thank you for your “Gazette” links, really appreciated! Should you have any other suggestion, I’ll be absolutely grateful. :)
    With my best regards,
    Marco
     
    vitellino likes this.
  13. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member

    Hello Varasc / Marco,

    I came across this mention of Hall in Dale Salwek’s book ‘Philip Larkin: the Man and his Work.’ Larkin was a noted English poet of the second half of the 20th Century. It doesn’t really tell us much more about Hall, but shades a pen picture:

    “Julian Henry Hall was the son of a baronet to whose title he succeeded. He was at Eton as a schoolboy and he might well have served as a model for the ‘high collared public schoolboy’ recalled by Larkin in ‘Dockery’, except that he was up at Oxford at Balliol in the 1930s. He wrote three novels in all, served in Intelligence in the army during the war, after which he was employed in radio as a BBC talks producer, and as an anonymous drama critic on ‘The Times’; he had a photographic memory for the plays and casts of the pre-war London theatre. In his latter years he devoted much of his spare times and energies to the English Association and the Garrick Club. He died in 1974. It seems a pity that he and Larkin never met, one feels they greatly would have enjoyed each other’s company. The Senior Commoner, which is a novel about Eton (coded as Ayrton in the book), leads one to believe that nothing in Hall’s later life ever measured up to his last term at Eton when he became Captain of the Oppidans.”

    Hall clearly had an influence on Larkin, who seemingly kept a copy of The Senior Commoner in his bedroom. Unlike Hall, I met Larkin once and asked him a question about one of his poems, but that is another story.

    Anyway, the Oppidans are Eton scholars who lodge locally, rather than board in the College. Why Salwek would feel that this had “more impact” on Hall then say, being active behind enemy lines in the war, is curious. It may only mean that Salwek, like others, simply found it difficult to find details of what his “served in Intelligence” amounted to.

    Whichever, the Garrick Club has a library and - a bit of a long shot - may well have a photo of Julian Henry Hall in his later years somewhere. Worth a letter to them?

    A few years ago, the UK TV - Channel 4 - ran some re-enactment documentaries covering some WW2 escapes, a series called The Freedom Trails. Members Ian David Brown and Tony56, amongst others, flagged these up on ww2talk at the time. Were you involved in these, or have you seen them? Programme #2 covered the Sulmona Trail and #3 Op GALIA. A couple of peripheral links are below:
    Retracing one of the Second World War's most daring PoW escape routes
    "WWII's Great Escapes: The Freedom Trails" Italy: operation galia (TV Episode 2017) - IMDb

    Stay well.
     
    Varasc likes this.
  14. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I have looked at Major Sir Juian Henry Hall's obituary in the Times, and it makes only this brief reference to his military career.
    Hall served with the Inteligence Corps & Special Forces during the Second World War reaching the rank of Major.
    The Times 30th January 1974

    And this also from the Times is a summary of his will when probate was granted.
    Latest Wills
    Sir Julian Henry Hall, of Westminster, Journalist & author, left £ 157,115 net (duty paid £ 67,423). He left £ 20,000 and effects to Gwen, Lady Melchett, £ 1000 each to the Garrick Club & the Garrick Club Library Committee, £ 500 to the London Library, £ 500 to J.G. Richards of Coutts & Co & £ 350 for the benefit of staff at 440 Strand in appreciation of their kind attention.

    The Times May 24th 1974

    Coutts is an old established London bank whose HQ is 440 Strand.

    In 1973 Major Sir Julian Henry Hall Bt was Chairman of the Garrick Club's Library Committee.
    CollectionsOnline | BOOK13485


    Travers
     
    vitellino and Varasc like this.
  15. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Quarterfinal,
    That's really interesting, it helps creating a picture of Capt. Hall. I will absolutely write to the Garrick Club, which I believe is this London club,

    The Garrick Club Members Area

    No, I was not involved in that series. The trails I "covered" related to North-Western Italy, basically Piemonte, my own region, and nearby Aosta Valley (Valle d'Aosta). What's incredible is the height reached by many POW parties during their escapes to the neutral Switzerland, they survived harsh high-altitude climbs at more than 4.200 meters in desert battledress, with old socks as gloves, no glasses or crampons or ice axes.
    Thank you, I'll keep you updated!
    Marco
     
  16. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Travers,
    Most interesting news, indeed. Really worth trying to see if the Garrick management will agree to help.
    Thanks for sharing, really interesting, and maybe also useful to find his surviving family members.
    Best regards,
    Marco
     
  17. Les ley

    Les ley New Member

    Hello Marco, I discovered your posts a while ago while looking for more information about Julian Hall, whom I knew as a novelist. I was excited to learn that you're doing this research on another aspect of his life. Do you know the piece he wrote about crossing the Alps? It's called "Escape", published in the British Ski Year Book, 1948, volume XIII, number 29 (they spell his name "Julien" Hall). If you have access to interlibrary loans, you may be able to get a copy that way. It was also translated into French by Claire-Eliane Engel and is available here: https://www.sac-cas.ch/de/die-alpen/la-traversee-des-alpes-6046/.

    There was a brief biographical essay on Julian Hall published by his distant cousin John Hall on the Faber Finds blog in 2009 when they republished his novel. It's no longer on the website, but here's a relevant comment: "The political events that caused the two exiles [of his 1936 novel] to leave Germany were to divert Julian Hall into military intelligence. After the war he worked with BBC Home Talks. Later he continued to write theatre and sometimes film reviews but never published another novel."

    Philip Larkin's archives in Hull apparently contain a couple of letters - and a photograph - from people who knew Julian Hall - An original packet containing correspondence regarding Julian Hall and his book The Senior Commoner. - Hull History Centre Catalogue.

    Hope this is helpful or interesting,
    Lesley
     
    davidbfpo, Varasc and papiermache like this.
  18. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Lesley,
    Good afternoon, sorry for the delayed answer!, I was on mountains yesterday (almost on these very same mountains crossed by Captain Hall. Very, very interesting information: I didn't know about the SAC webpage.
    I must absolutely obtain a copy, even only a scan copy, of that text. Really interesting!

    With my best regards,
    Marco, Italy
     
    Les ley likes this.
  19. Les ley

    Les ley New Member

    Hi Marco, is there a way I can message you privately here? I have a few other ideas that might be useful for your research.
    -Lesley
     
    Varasc likes this.
  20. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Lesley,
    Of course, you can write me a PM via this forum. You can "Start a conversation" with any user, by clicking on her/his username, or via your inbox. :)
    Marco
     

Share This Page