William Hall, VC

Nova Scotia Archives

William Hall, VC

The Search for Medals of Honour

William Hall, VC (1827-1904) was the first Black person, the first Nova Scotian, and the third Canadian to receive the British Empire’s highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross. He spent much of his life in Summerville and Hantsport, Nova Scotia, the son of formerly enslaved refugees who arrived in the province following the War of 1812. Hall was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts defending the British forces at Lucknow, India, during the Indian Rebellion against British East India Company.

Nova Scotia Archives has digitized all our known archival records relating to William Hall, VC, his commemoration, and his legacy. Included are records from the William Hall collection, which primarily document the memorialization of William Hall at Hantsport through correspondence, research notes, newspaper clippings and minutes of the William Hall Victoria Cross Memorial steering committee.

Also included in this resource are records documenting the search for William Hall’s missing medals. In the 1960s, Rear Admiral Hugh F. Pullen was part of the effort to locate the missing Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Hall with the hopes that the medals could be displayed in the Atlantic Provinces Pavilion of the Canadian World’s Exhibition (Expo ’67). The medals were eventually located on display in the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth, England, and are now on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Black Cultural Centre.


Nova Scotia Archives — https://archives.novascotia.ca/hall/

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