Private Horace Hales (448039)

Labour Corps

Malvern Commemoration: St Matthias Malvern Link,

Burial/Commemoration: Malvern Link (St Matthias)

Nature of Death: Died at Malvern Link, December 1926

Age: 32

Next of Kin: Son of Charles and Elizabeth Hales of 2 Crown East, Albert Park Road, Malvern Link

Education: Kelham Hall

Previous Employment: Theology student at Kelham Hall

Early Years

Horace Jack Hales, was born on 12th June 1894, the son of Charles Hales, a gardener and his wife Elizabeth.  He was christened at St Matthias Church, Malvern Link on 8th July 1894 when the family were living at Quest Hills.  In 1901 the family of six were living at 4 Worcester Place, Newtown Road. 

A call to the priesthood

By 1911, the sixteen year old Horace was a boarding pupil at Kelham Hall, an community founded by Fr Herbert Kelly of the Society of Sacred Mission.  Fr Kelly had not really intended to start a religious community, but rather to train men for the new Korean Mission. Quite quickly he took up training priests for the Church in England, and formed a community of priests and lay-brothers as the best way of doing it.

Fr Kelly believed strongly thar the move of Church of England Bishops to restrict ordination to graduates was very foolish.  He was quite sure that men from non-academic, ‘working class’ backgrounds needed a formation which was demanding and rigorous: he aimed to teach his students to think, to do their theology, and not just to learn a series of ‘correct’ answers to be trotted out in sermons.

Kelham Hall College, Newark, Nottinghamshire

Kelham Hall College, Newark, Nottinghamshire

So the life he created at Kelham Hall, experienced by Horace Hales was all-embracing: Mass and the daily Office, lectures, housework, manual work – even sport – all were part of the day to day life of the College. Students lived alongside the Community, not in a separate building, and the Kelham way often saw senior tutors sweeping corridors and washing up under the direction of their students.

First World War

Horace was conscripted into the army and was called up in May 1916.  He was posted to the Royal Artillery – some records state he served overseas with the Royal Garrison Artillery, others Royal Field Artillery.  His regimental number was 157958.  In the autumn of 1917 he was transferred to the Labour Corps in France.  On the 6th October 1917, the Malvern News reported:

“Pte Horace Hales (the elder son of Mr and Mrs C Hales of Crown East, Albert Park Road) is in hospital suffering from shell shock.”

Army Discharge

On 3rd July 1919, Horace was discharged from the army at Ashhurst War Hospital (later Littlemore Hospital), Oxford as a result of this shell shock.  Pension records seem to indicate that Horace’s health broke down in 1925, although in all likelihood he probably never recovered from the effects of his war service.  In the 1921 Census his occupation is given as “ex-theological student” and his living in the parental home – 2 Crown East, Albert Park Road.

Horace Jack Hales died in Malvern in late 1926, aged 32.  A life no doubt, full of promise.  He was laid to rest at St Matthias Churchyard, Malvern Link on 9th December 1926.

Horace Hales is also commemorated at the Church of the Ascension, Newtown.

Malvern News 6/10/17
Ordinariate Pilgrim Blog (
Silver War Badge Records
WW1 Medal Rolls
St Matthias, Malvern Link Parish Registers
1901 Census
1911 Census

Submit information

If you know anything more about Horace Hales then please fill out the form below and we will update his record accordingly:

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Message

    Image attachments:

    (if you would like to send more photos please email us directly at