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W.H.Selby Hall, Master of SS Persia 1915

by Alan Wren 13 March 2016

I am researching the history of P&O liner SS Persia, torpedoed and sunk without warning off Crete on 30th December 1915, with the loss of over 340 lives. My aim is to write the full story, which currently doesn’t exist other than in small, scattered pieces. Persia’s Master was William Henry Selby Hall who was born in Greenhithe, Kent in 1858. He was one of the hundreds on the ship who were never found, but is commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill and on a headstone in Portslade Cemetery along with his wife Mary and their son Charles Ottley Hall who died in 1912. While the U-boat commander who sunk the Persia, Max Valentiner, is a celebrated ‘U-boat Ace’, very little is known of Captain Hall and as part of my project I would like to change this in the hope of ensuring that he too has his place in history . If anyone has any information about him or his family I would be delighted and grateful to hear from you.

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