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Remembering a horse-loving soldier who survived both world wars

Market Drayton | Nostalgia | Published:

This Remembrance Sunday, a Shropshire woman will reflect especially on her horse-loving father who served in the Staffordshire Yeomanry in two world wars.

George Herbert Victor Hall in his formal dress

Pamela Lynn speaks fondly about her father, George Herbert Victor Hall – known as GVH – who before and after the war loved tending to shire horses in his native Cheswardine, near Market Drayton.

Today Pamela and her two surviving siblings all live in the same road in the village. On November 11 they will be united in remembering their veteran father, who lived through both world wars and died in 1983 aged 82.

Pamela doesn't know much about her father's experiences in the war, but said: "It would be nice to remember one of those people that saved us.

"He was in the first and second world wars.

"He was a local man from Cheswardine. He loved the village.

"He lived there most of his life, he did bowling on the green and dominoes in the pub.

"My dad got on well with everyone.

"He loved mixing with young people as well as people of his own age.

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"He used to say to me 'it's not how many people you know young 'un, it's who you know'. He used to talk to all the councillors."

George Herbert Victor Hall of the Staffordshire Yeomanry

There is a chapter in Bernard Lazarus' book Country Reflections around Cheswardine that is devoted to GHV Hall and his love for the shire horses he doted on.

Mr Lazarus, a former schoolmaster in the village, wrote: "George Hall was a man who loved the world. Every waking moment in his life brought fun and new experiences.

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"Despite his 82 years he had an ability to converse with young people a quarter of his age.

"George was a man's man, he loved bowling, dominoes and could always be found supporting the local football team. He liked his pint of beer and the company of the local pub.

"Probably his first love though was shire horses."

The chapter details George's inter-war years working as a horse groom for a Mr Cope in Cheswardine, travelling miles every day on foot taking a stallion to different towns and villages, before he went off to serve in the Staffordshire Yeomanry in 1939.

But his love of horses had clearly rubbed off on Pamela, who still rides regularly today. "I used to go up to the farm and wash all the horses' feet.

"I had to plait their tails and put ribbons in. I love horses.

"It would be so nice to reflect on what he did."

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