Ralph Edward Hall was born in Bermondsey in the East End of London. He met Montague Charles Glover (Monty) around 1930 and Monty employed him as his manservant, perhaps to provide a social alibi for two men living together. Ralph was poorly educated, but absolutely devoted to Monty. The relationship lasted for more than 50 years, surviving the Second World War during which Ralph was drafted to the Royal Air Force.
Much of their latter years were spent at Monty's country house, 'Little Windovers', in the village of Balsall Heath, near Coventry. Monty died aged 85 in 1983, leaving Ralph Hall as his sole heir. Hall died four years later after suffering a gradual decline in health.
In his later years Ralph was described by friends as an "outgoing, cheerful Cockney", and Monty as "charming, if somewhat reserved". Their was a rare documented example of a gay long-term relationship (53 years) prior to the legalization of homosexuality in Britain in the 1960s.
'Little Windovers' and Monty's possessions were put up for auction in 1988 by Hall's next of kin.
One lot was a cardboard box that contained much of Monty's collection of negatives from photographs he had taken since serving in the trenches in the First World War, as well as journals, and letters and correspondence from his many lovers during the decades, including letters from Ralph written during his air service in the Second World War.
Much of the collection was published in a book in 1992 with text by James Gardiner in "A Class Apart - The Private Pictures of Montague Glover", and is a great insight into the underworld of gay British society in the early 20th century.