Interview with Alec Hall, 22 September 2016
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Series
'Veterans: A Shared Experience' interviews
Scope and Content:
Alec Hall [AH] interviewed by Juliana Vandegrift [JV] about serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) during the Second World War.

[00:00] AH describes working as an errand boy at the Co-op on Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea, during air raids; being called up to the RAMC after he turned 18; training in Crookham, Hampshire; his involvement in local football and cricket; volunteering for the 181 Airbourne Field Ambulance section, stationed at Chilton Foliat, Berkshire; tough commando training in Ilfracombe, Devon.

[04:45] Transfer to the Airbourne Light Artillery unit, comprising of roughly 100 men, as a medic; his journey to the front line and anecdote of getting a charge for being 'improperly dressed'; suffering from tinea curva (athlete's foot) after two years with the unit; recovering at Southampton Hospital; travelling to Greenock in Scotland in order to invade North Africa; the decision to travel to Taranto, southern Italy; a cruiser being blown up, killing 400 men.

[09:25] His unit gunning down German lorries from above while staying in a high-up town in southern Italy; German shelling in retaliation; the injuries he witnessed and how he treated the men; the deaths of local civilians, including a teenage girl killed by shrapnel to her heart; the limitations medics faced, in terms of medicine and access to resources; retrieving an injured man amidst gunfire from both sides; being thanked at a recent 70th anniversary event.

[14:59] Being stationed along the east coast of England on D-Day; travelling to Arnhem a few days later by glider; injuries in his division after German troops opened fire on them; treating a patient, Reg Curtis, who was shot through the legs; the creation of a dressing in Oosterbeek; driving a motorbike; reuniting with the other men in his division after the end of the war.
Dates of Creation:
22 September 2016
20 minutes 46 seconds
Creator Name:
Juliana Vandegrift
Admin History:
Alec John Hall was born in Shoeburyness in 1922. He was called up to join the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in 1940, aged 18. After training at RAMC headquarters in Hampshire he volunteered to join the newly-formed 1st Airbourne Ambulance Division and completed commando training in Ilfracombe, Devon. He was then transferred to the Airbourne Light Artillery unit and served as a medic in Greenock, Sicily, Taranto, and Arnhem.
Archivist Note:
Acquisition Source:
Donated to the Essex Record Office by Southend Museums Service, September 2018.
Copyright Southend Museums
Physical Characteristics:
1 MP3 file [created from original WAV file]
Related Unit of Description:
For biographical information about Alec Hall, see SA 79/1/1/4
Dates of Description:
12 April 2022