STORY BY SHARON ADAMS
On Nov. 16, 1857, William Hall earned the British Empire’s highest bravery award, the Victoria Cross. He became the third Canadian and first Nova Scotian to do so.
Hall, of Horton, N.S., was the son of former Black slaves from the United States. He worked in Hantsport shipyards, before serving on a merchant vessel, followed by a couple of years in the United States navy.
In 1852, he enlisted in the Royal Navy in England, joining the crew of HMS Rodney where he earned medals from Britain and Turkey for his service during the Crimean War, when he lent a hand to ground forces operating the heavy gun batteries.
His career prospered. He was serving on HMS Shannon, which was escorting troops to China, when it was dispatched to help quell a mutiny in India.