b. 10/06/1897 Sri Lanka. d. 21/03/1941 Bangor Bay, County Antrim.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 21/03/1941 Bangor Bay, County Antrim.
Born in Ceylon on 10th June 1897, he was the son of Colonel William Hallaran, a surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and Kate Lucy Bayley. Charles was an Irish rugby international. He played at club level for the Royal Navy, the Barbarians, and Surrey. Charles’ father William had played one international match for Ireland under an assumed name so his religious father would not know. Charles represented Ireland in 15 internationals between 1921 and 1926.
Off the rugby field, Hallaran was also a champion boxer and a qualified water polo referee.In May 1923, Charles proposed to Anita Lindsay Sinclair. The couple married at St. Bernard’s Parish Church, Saxe-Coburg Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland on 25th February 1924. On 3rd May 1934, Charles married for a second time to Elizabeth Joyce Philpott, daughter of Reverend RG Philpott or College Precinct, Worcester, England.
Hallaran died on 21st March 1941 while serving on board the HMS Springbank. A motorboat drew alongside the Springbank when a sudden swell washed a stoker overboard between the two vessels. Hallaran climbed into the motorboat from HMS Springbank, jumped into the rough seas and swam towards the drowning man. He helped the man back onboard the motorboat but another heavy wave crashed in. Caught in the swell, Hallaran received fatal injuries to his skull. He died in the water before being able to reach the safety of the boat himself.
This selfless act led to him becoming a posthumous holder of the Albert Medal for saving a life at sea. While living in England, he was the Superintendent of Ramsgate Marina Bathing Pool.
Charles Francis George Thomas Hallaran’s grave is in Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim. A party of 60 officers and ratings attended the funeral. His coffin draped in a flag was carried on a gun carriage. Representatives from the Irish Rugby Football Union also attended the ceremony.
On the night of 21st March 1941 a motor-boat came alongside Cdr. Hallaran’s ship to take off the pilot. A swell made this boat roll and pitch heavily, and a stoker was thrown overboard between it and the ship’s side. He was seen to be in difficulties, and was in danger of being crushed as the swell kept heaving the boat against the ship. Cdr. Hallaran climbed into the boat, jumped into the sea, and swam round to help him. He got the stoker back to the boat, but as he did so was thrown against it. His skull was fractured and he was drowned before he could be got back on board. He was awarded the Albert Medal posthumously.
BURIAL LOCATION: BELFAST CITY CEMETERY, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND.
Glenalina Extn, Sec D, Grave 125
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.