John Hallett – better known as Jack – was born in the spring of 1891 in the Somerset town of Frome. One of twelve children, his parents were carpenter Frederick Hallett and his wife, Elizabeth. When he left school, Jack found work at a printer’s, helping with the typesetting.
Was was approaching, and Jack was keen to do his bit. While full details of his military service are not available, it is clear that he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. He served in France with the 4th Battalion, arriving there in October 1915.
A later report suggests that Private Hallett was “seriously wounded several times during the war” [Somerset Standard: Friday 30th January 1920], although no specific details are available about his injuries. He survived the conflict and was awarded the British and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star for his service.
Demobbed and back at home, it seems that John did not fully recover from his wounds. He was admitted to the Victoria Hospital in Frome in January 1920, and died there a matter of days later. He was just 28 years old.
John Hallett was laid to rest in the graveyard of Christ Church in his home town of Frome, Somerset.
The local newspaper gave a more detailed report on John’s funeral:
The funeral took place yesterday afternoon at Christ Church of Mr John Hallett, aged 29, of The Butts, Frome, who passed away at the Victoria Hospital on Friday last. Deceased had been seriously wounded several times during the war, and a day or two ago was removed to the hospital. The Rev. J Howard Lewis conducted the service, which was attended by local Oddfellows, to which society the deceased belonged, and by a number of other representative mourners.Somerset Standard: Friday 20th January 1920