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J A Philipson’s photograph of 4440351 Sgt Hallett suggests that he must have served with the 16th Battalion DLI. His low ‘444’ series DLI Army Number also indicates that he was in the Army well before 1939. Note the distinctive ‘Guards-style DLI shoulder flash and the Africa Star Medal ribbon. The back of the photograph is reproduced below. ‘No 4440351 Sgt Hallett DLI, attached 202 Transit Camp, CMF.’ CMF stands for Central Mediterranean Forces.

In reel 20 of his 1988 interview for the Imperial War Museum. CSM Les Thornton who served in 16 DLI Support Company in 1943-44, before moving to C Coy in late 1944, recalled that Sgt Charlie Hallett was the senior Sergeant in the 16 DLI Anti-Tank Platoon and, having just reached the age of 41 while the battalion was in the Middle East in early 1944, was then re-graded as ‘A X 1’, fit but overage for frontline service.

Hence this photo must have been given to his friend Bart Philipson just before Hallett’s posting to the 202 Transit Camp. CSM Thornton also recalled that Hallett was a football referee in civilian life before call-up!

This is the direct link to Les Thornton’s interview:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80010199
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Sgt Hallett 4440351

Sergeant Hallett, DLI, 4440351