Farewell to wartime hero and former Cromer man, Jack Hall

Tributes have paid to wartime hero, Jack Hall. Pictures: Supplied by Valerie Hall

Tributes have paid to wartime hero, Jack Hall. Pictures: Supplied by Valerie Hall - Credit: Archant

A veteran of the Arctic convoys in the Second World War who survived 12 days in a lifeboat has died, aged 95.

Jack Hall served with the Royal Artillery on the merchant ships that made the treacherous journeys in icy seas to deliver vital supplies to the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945, running the gauntlet of the Nazi aircraft and U-boats.

At one stage his ship was torpedoed north of Canada and he had to survive 12 days in a lifeboat in perilous seas before being rescued.

He was awarded the Ushakov Medal by the Russians and was also the holder of the Arctic Star and Arctic Emblem medals.

Born in Cromer he grew up in north Norfolk but moved to Merseyside after the war.

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His son Norman said: 'My dad had quite an illustrious past and did not think twice about what he did during the war. He was proud to get the medals and was quick to praise the people he fought with.

'The Russian ambassador said that, if it were not for the likes of my dad, the Russians would be speaking German.

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'He had been organising a birthday party for my mum but unfortunately passed away before it.'

A family spokesman added: 'He was one of 14 children. He was born in Cromer and grew up in the area. After the war he moved to Merseyside.

'He was a lovely man. He liked his drop of Scotch.'

Mr Hall spent 14 years in the Royal Artillery and later became a long distance lorry driver.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Marie, 92, plus dozens of relatives including three great-great-grandchildren.

He died of a heart attack earlier this month at Birch Green care home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, where he had been living for about two months. A funeral service was held at St Richard's Church in Skelmersdale. He was given a fitting send-off when members of the Skelmersdale Veterans' Association, the Royal British Legion and Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association formed a guard of honour.

Do you remember Jack Hall before the war in Cromer? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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