HALL, James William
Unit / Base:
40 Commando RM
Honours & Awards:
Corporal James Hall was awarded The Queen's Gallantry Medal for service in Cyprus in July 1974.
40 Commando R.M., of which Corporal Hall was a member, was deployed to Cyprus during the night of 20th/21st July in order to defend part of the Sovereign Base area some five miles north of R.A.F. Akrotiri. All ranks were ordered to avoid confrontation with the Turkish and Greek Cypriot Forces but some bands of Greek Cypriot Guerillas, armed with automatic weapons, were taking independent action, not only against Turkish Cypriots but also against Greek Cypriots belonging to other factions.
The Section commanded by Corporal Hall came under fire and one Marine was wounded. Corporal Hall stood up and faced the guerillas, at great personal risk, and warned them to stop firing. He ordered his Section to stand up to indicate that they were not prepared to return the fire.
Corporal Hall had informed the guerillas that his troops were English, but they would not allow him to render first aid to the wounded Marine nor to radio for assistance. They withdrew, however, after removing the Marines' weapons and equipment.
By his actions throughout this incident Corporal Hall acted in accordance with the highest traditions of the Service. He showed great personal courage in standing up in full view of the armed guerillas and his leadership was an inspiration to his Section. His action and example helped to defuse a very tense situation and probably pre-empted many other incidents of a similar nature.
London Gazette 46470, pages879.