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IN tribute to John Gordon Hall (VR, April 7, 2012, vol 170, p 368), Stephen Hall writes: My father, John Hall, was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1920. His father was a Methodist minister and his mother a schoolteacher. Methodist practice was to move ministers from church to church, so John's primary school was in Sunderland and his secondary education was at the grammar school in Blackpool.
His father's family came from a farming background near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland while his mother was born Evelyn Blake, in Chester. The Blake family were bakers and their shop was in the medieval Rows of Chester.
John entered the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School, Edinburgh, in September 1938 and qualified in July 1945. Some of his formal lecture notes survive. They are beautifully tidy and precise, but in with them is a scribbled pencil document obviously written in great haste and under the influence of inspiration. It is about cattle blood groups – a strong indicator of what was to come. But meanwhile there was the student life to be lived; naturally, during wartime this was not as exuberant as it might have been, and his lecture notes include details of poison gas precautions. As well as being in the Officers' Training Corps, he was captain of the University Boat Club and spoke for the veterinary students on the Student Representative Council.
On qualifying, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, and …
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