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Cecil Arthur Hill MM

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Cecil Arthur Hill MM
Hill Cecil Arthur.jpg
Western Mail 13 Aug 1915 page 1s
Personal Information
Date of Birth 28 Oct 1894
Place of Birth Rockley, Bathurst, New South Wales
Death 6 Feb 1973, aged 78
Place of Death Riverton, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 11 months
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; 140lbs
63.503 kg
; fair complexion ; yellowish eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Saddler
Religion Methodist
Address PO Maddington, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Arthur Henry Hill
Military Information
Reg Number 225
Date of Enlistment 10 Oct 1914
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 3rd Field Company
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1914 ‒ 5 Dec 1914
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic
Date of Return 21 Dec 1918 ‒ 31 Jan 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Fate WIA 19 Apr Gallipoli
WIA 20 Aug 1916 Albert
WIA 20 Sep 1917 Menin Road
WIA 26 Apr 1918 Fletre
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Medals Military Medal
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Proceeded from Alexandria with his unit to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 5 Apr 1915. His records are poor in relation to his service prior to and at Gallipoli other than he appears to have been on detachment to the 8th Field Battery. The 3rd Field Company Engineer's War Diary has an entry for 19 Apr 1915 "1 man was killed and 1 seriously wounded. 2 others wounded. All sent to Hospital."[1]

On 21 May 1915 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital on Lemnos, suffering from a slight gunshot wound, and was able to rejoin his unit on Gallipoli on 25 May 1915. On 6 Oct 1915 he reported sick, and was sent to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Cecil was evacuated, with diarrhoea, first to Mudros, and then he was then embarked on 9 Oct 1915 aboard HMT Caledonia for the Gibraltar Convalescent Depot. On 8 Nov 1915, he was transferred from the Convalescent Depot Gibraltar, to England aboard HMHS Franconia. On his arrival in England on 12 Nov 1915 he was admitted to the 4th Southern General Hospital in Plymouth.

Recovered, he was sent back to Egypt from Devonport on 28 Feb 1916 aboard HMT Kingstonian, arriving on 5 Mar 1916. Ten days later he rejoined his unit at Serapeum, and on 27 Mar 1916 he was to again aboard HMT Kingstonian when it left Alexandria Harbour to sail to Marseilles in southern France, arriving there on 3 Apr 1916. However, an entry in his records suggests that he did not make this journey as he was charged with "Failing to appear at rendezvous appointed by a Superior Officer, in that he failed to embark on HMT Kingstonian at about 1700 on 27 Mar 1916 and was absent from hi s unit till 1600 8 Apr 1916 - 13 days.' He was awarded 96 hours Field Punishment No.1 and forfeited 13 day's pay. He was further charged with ' Whilst on active service hesitating to obey an order given by an NCO on 2 Apr 1916, for which he was awarded 168 hours detention. His records do not tell us how or when he reached France.

On 20 Aug 1916 he was wounded in action and seen by the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance and then the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station and treated for a gunshot wound to his face. Placed aboard Ambulance Train 6, he was sent to Étaples where he was admitted to the 26th General Hospital. On 25 Aug 1916 he was released to Convalescent Depot No.6 before rejoining his unit on 2 Sep 1916.

Cecil was appointed Lance Corporal on 30 Mar 1917, and soon after, earned his Military Medal when the German's attacked a weakened Australian line south of Bullecourt between Lagnicourt and Haplincourt. He was also granted leave to the UK from 12 Jul 1917 until 27 Jul 1917. On 20 Sep 1917 the 3rd Field Company were engaged in works resulting from the Australian Infantry push along the Menin Road towards Zonnebeke when 2 were killed and 12 wounded, including Cecil. Cecil was treated by the 6th Australian Field Ambulance who passed him back to the 16th General Hospital at Le Tréport where he received attention to a gun shot wound to his scalp. On 26 Sep 1917 he was well enough to be released from hospital, and on 4 Oct 1917 he rejoined his unit which was still working between Ypres and Zonnebeke.

Cecil was promoted again, this time as a temporary Corporal on 4 Oct 1917, with the rank being confirmed on 25 Dec 1917. Christmas Present?? On 19 Feb 1918 he was again granted leave to the UK, returning to his unit on 8 Mar 1918. On 26 Apr 1918 Cecil's unit had for a week been busy falling trees across roads, strengthening defences and generally establishing a line that would eventually contain he German 1918 Spring advance in the area of Fletre north west of Armentières. While the unit diary makes no specific mention of action, it was during the day that Cecil was wounded with a shrapnel wound to his left forearm. Treated by the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 27 Apr 1918, he was initially sent on 28 Apr to the 7th Canadian General Hospital before embarking on 29 Apr 1918 for England aboard HMT Scotian then acting as a Hospital Ship.

On arrival in England he was admitted 30 Apr 1918 to the Kitchener Military Hospital in Brighton for treatment before being released on 10 May 1918 to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield. When recovered sufficiently, he was granted furlough from 1 Jun to 15 Jun 1918 before reporting to the No.1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny. Cecil married while he was in the UK to Isabella Lindsay Frances Millar on 19 Jun 1918 in Bathgate while he was stationed at Brightlingsea in Essex.

The following day, on 20 Jun 1918 he was placed in the Sutton Veny Military Hospital with influenza until 6 Jul 1918. AWOL from midnight on 10 Sep 1918 until 1:30pm on 11 Sep 1918, he was reprimanded and forfeited a day's pay before being sent to the Overseas Training Brigade on 27 Sep 1918. However before he could again be sent to France, he was granted 75 days Special Leave with pay (1914 enlistee)

Cecil was discharged at the 5th Military District on 14 Feb 1919.

Award Comment

Military Medal (recommended 11,13 and 14 Apr 1917)

'In the construction of a strong point during the attack on Hermies on the morning of 9 Apr 17 he displayed great skill and courage and set a splendid example to the men under him under trying circumstances, as the party was continually under shell fire.'[2]

Post War

Children were Cecil James Arthur Hill (1919-1988), daughter Vina Annie Hill (1921 - 1972) and son Alec Hill (1922-1945). Both boys served during WW2 as Sick Berth Attendants in the RAN. Cecil was bayonetted to death 17 Jun 1945 by the Japanese after being captured when he went for a joy ride with a pilot friend and their plane was shot down by anti aircraft fire.

On 3 Jan 1948 Cecil Arthur and Isabella Lindsey arrived in Fremantle aboard the SS Stratheden from Tilbury Docks in London, travelling 1st Class. Address given was 92 Dyson street, South Perth, having been at 32 Muir road, Bathgate during their time on England. Isabella died on 5 Dec 1994, aged 96 at 1 French road, Melville.

Electoral Roll entries: 1921 at Prince street, Carlisle, saddler; 1925 at 817 Wellington street, West Perth, collarmaker; 1936 - 1963Cnr Dyson & Bright streets, South Perth, saddler; 1968 at 218 Corinthian road, Riverton, pensioner.

Notes

  1. https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/awm-media/collection/RCDIG1008204/large/5051791.JPG
  2. 'Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette No 30095 dated 25 May 1917 and the Commonwealth Gazette' No. 174, dated 11 Oct 1917

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