Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sepia Saturday #147 - The Gallant 30 (Bahamas) Sail Off to WWI in 1915


This week's Sepia Saturday theme centers around the military, uniforms, group photos, etc.  What came to my mind was a photograph I posted earlier on one of my family history blogs, RogersFamilyHistory about my husband's grandfather, Hershel Stanley Hall. During WWI many Bahamians were anxious to get into the actual fighting according to Paul Albury in his book, "The Story of the Bahamas."  The first group of eager volunteers of the British West India Regiment were trained and ready to sail for England from Nassau on 9 Sep 1915.  Hundreds of people came to see them off and the Governor's wife presented them with a silken flag bearing the colony's Coat of Arms. My husband's grandfather, Hershel Stanley Hall only seventeen years old at the time was one of them.  You can see him on the far left in the photograph above.  This photograph was taken right before they set sail.  It is actually an old photocopy that was in my mother-in-law's possession and I do not know its origin.  

Hershel Hall was descended from British Loyalists who were forced to leave the US Colonies after the US Revolution and resettled in the Bahamas.  It is believed that Hershel was descended from Nathaniel Hall who emigrated to Nassau, Bahamas from Savannah, GA around 1766 although I have yet to prove the connection.  In the book, "The Early Settlers of the Bahamas and Colonists of North America" by A. Talbot Bethell  in a chapter titled "Biographies of the Descendants" I found this mention of "Hall, Hershal Stanley - Born 1894.  Educated:  Boys' Central School; formerly Merchant.  Descendant of Nathaniel Hall, Loyalist."

Members of The Gallant 30 and other contingents returned from war on 19 Jun 1919 as evidenced by this document (again an old photocopy) which was in my mother-in-law's possession   Hershel Hall is listed on line 47.  I don't know much else about Hershel's war experience, but I thought the photograph deserved a mention.


For more great photographs and stories please join us at Sepia Saturday.



11 comments:

  1. This is what I like so much about SepSat, hearing of events I never heard about before. British Loyalists being forced to leave the US? This is the first time I hear about that. And to the Bahamas? So if they originated in England, they almost went full circle. But of course, not all Loyalists came from England. Or did they?
    In any case, thanks for sharing!

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  2. British loyalists resettling in the Bahamas after the American Revolutionary War, that's an interesting family history!

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  3. I knew of Loyalists that went north, up into Canada -- my grandmother's family, for example. But I never knew about the Bahama connection. Fascintating! Great information...

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  4. We forget that political refugees were part of American history just as they are with many troubled nations today. Loyalists or royalists left the new United States for the same reasons, protecting their families from retribution or worse. A fascinating family history to research, Teresa, and a nice tie-in to this weekend's theme.

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  5. I had never given much thought to what became of the Loyalists. I guess I assumed they shrugged their shoulders and conformed. Bahamas was certainly closer for those living in Georgia than making the trek to Canada. I'm glad you posted the picture even though you feel you didn't have a lot of information. You have given us all a lot to think about.

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  6. Only seventeen years old! Such a young age to be going off to war!

    Interesting bit of history regarding the Loyalists leaving the U.S. for the Bahamas. I learned something new today. :)

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  7. I too learned something new today, so that photo certainly was worth a mention!

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  8. This is so interesting Teresa. That's what I enjoy about Sepia Saturday, every week I learn something new.

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  9. Wow, what a great photo of the Bahamian contingent! Coincidentally, Theresa, we're bothing posting about men by the name of Hall (on our husband's sides).

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  10. Interesting family history.
    Seventeen? So young, and usually so eager, naturally!!
    I love this picture.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  11. History is alway written by the Victors....thankfully ,photography is more neutral.A Great & Important Photo.Thanks For The Sharing.

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