Private 22112 Harry Hill

Hill Harry 96 319x600
Photograph courtesy of the excellent 'The Fallen of Oldbury, Langley and Warley 1914 -1918'

Killed in Action on Saturday, 18th November 1916, age 23.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 5 C and 12 C of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 57th Company. 19th Division.
Formerly 7055 Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Son of Benjamin Harry Hill, of 76, Fountain Lane, Oldbury, Birmingham, and the late Julia Mary Hill.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 18th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/791852/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
56 Junction Street, Oldbury, Worcs.
Benjamin Hill (39, Boat Unloader, born Rowley), his wife Julia Mary (37, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Ernest (11, born Tipton), Harry (8, born Tipton), Ellen (5, born Tipton), and Alice (1, born Tividale).

1911 Census
11 Salop Street, Brades Village, Oldbury, Worcs.
Benjamin Hill (47, Labourer at Railway Carriage Works, born Rowley), his (second) wife Sarah Amelia (32, born Tipton): Benjamin's 4 children by his first wife: Harry (18, Fitter at Railway Carriage Works, born Tipton), Ellen (15, born Tipton), Sarah (11, born Oldbury), Alice (11, born Oldbury), and Benjamin and Sarah's 2 children: Phoebe (7, born Rowley), and Annie (6, born Oldbury).

Personal Data

From 'The Fallen of Oldbury, Langley and Warley 1914 -1918'
"Pte Hill volunteered in September 1914, first joining the 10th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (7055). He was the son of Benjamin Harry Hill and Julia Mary Hill of 76 Fountain Lane, Oldbury. He had been a Sunday School teacher at Brades Weslyan Methodist Church. On leaving school, he started work at the Oldbury Carriage Works, later moving to Chance Brothers and Co. glass works. He put his engineering experience to good use in his transfer to the Machine Gun Corps. He went missing on the last day of the Battle of the Somme, and it was nearly a year before his death was confirmed to his parents. His memorial plaque is on display in the Royal British Legion, Windsor Road, Langley."

Action resulting in his death

The Battle of the Ancre, from the 13th to 18th November 1916, was the final battle of the 1916 Somme campaign. It began with the capture of Beaumont Hamel, St. Pierre Divion and Beaucourt, and later the capture of the Schwaben Redoubt which had been reached but never captured way back on 1st July.

On final push on the east bank of the Ancre was attempted on the 18th November. 57th Brigade of 19th (Western) Division was directly next to the east bank of the Ancre.

On the right the 8th North Staffs' attack was successful, in the centre the 10th Royal Warwicks' attack failed from the outset, and on the left the 8th Gloucesters there was confusion but little success. To quote from Stacke's 'The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War' "On the left the attack swept across 'Battery Valley' and became engaged in a wild struggle among the defences on that valley's further slope. There, two Worcester platoons which attacked on the extreme left flank of the Brigade were cut off and never heard of again. All that day the fighting continued. The enemy resisted stubbornly and no more ground could be gained."

57th Brigade was supported by 57th Company Machine Gun Corps, amongst their number was Private Harry Hill who was killed on that day. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

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