Apr 05, 2017 at 06:17 PM

Story of Local Doughboy Will Come to Life at April 12 WWI Luncheon Hosted by Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and Channel City Club

By Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation


Santa Barbara, Calif., April 3, 2017 – The account of John Thomas Hall – one of at least 61 men from Santa Barbara County who died during World War I – will be retold on April 12 at a unique remembrance in honor of the centennial of The Great War.

“Over There – WWI 100 Years On” hosted by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) and the Channel City Clubwill feature WWI era music, a history leading up to the war, a discussion of the legacy WWI left and how it impacted the United States’ growth into a world leader.  Re-enactors will tell stories from German, French, British, and American experiences in the trenches during key battles.

Re-enactor Damian Stellabott of the Great War Historical Society will portray John Thomas Hall. Hall was born on March 10, 1887, a native of California whose parents were labeled “pioneers of Santa Barbara.” He lived most of his life at 117 Bath Street.

Hall registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He was 30 years old, just one year off from the maximum registration age. Four months later, he left Santa Barbara for training at Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington and was assigned to Company L, 364th Infantry Regiment, 91st Division. Hall was a bugler, a skill he learned with the local Eagles Lodge in Santa Barbara.

The 91st Division arrived at Southampton, England on July 20, 1918 and then traveled across the channel where they marched to a British camp three miles from Cherbourg for one week of rest.  They moved by train to eastern France, 20 miles southeast of Chaumonti, and billeted in small villages during their additional training.  They left for the front on September 6, marching at night to keep from announcing their movements to the enemy. 

Private John T. Hall died in action on September 26, 1918 at the age of 31 in the same battle as William Ordaz (another soldier from Santa Barbara) of the 364th Regiment at the battle of Meuse-Argonne.  He was killed on the first day of the final Allied offensive of the war.   

John Thomas Hall was initially buried in an American cemetery in Europe about 27 miles northwest of Verdun.  In 1921, John's body was brought home to Santa Barbara Cemetery.

To hear more details of Hall’s story, RSVP by Friday, April 7 by calling 805-564-6223 or emailing [email protected].The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on April 12 at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort. Tickets  are $40 and will not be sold at the door.

Research on the life of John Thomas Hall was conducted by local resident, Walter Browne.


About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in U.S. military efforts. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssen’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.”  PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394. 

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