Corporal Horace Leslie Hill died as a result of wounds received whilst riding a motor cycle on active service, having enlisted in the motor cycle section of the Royal Engineers in August 1914. Born in Birmingham just three weeks before the 1891 census was taken, Horace was the third of the six children (four boys, two girls) of parents George Frederick (an iron plate manufacturer) and Ellen Elizabeth. He attended Camp Hill Grammar School and, prior to enlistment, was employed by printing company Billings Bros., St Paul’s Square, Birmingham.
Between 1901 and 1911 the family moved from Birmingham to Claremont, St Bernard’s Road, Olton. By this time George Hill was recorded as a galvanizer and japanner. Information from researchers at St Margaret’s Church, Olton is that Horace was one of the church’s first servers.
Corporal Horace Leslie Hill, “L” Signal Company, Royal Engineers is buried at Etretat Churchyard, France. He is also commemorated locally on the war memorial at St Margaret’s Church, Olton. His parents also donated the High Altar at the church in his memory and that of his lifelong friend, Rev. Frederick Ravey Hooper, Vicar of Yardley 1915-1917, who died suddenly in January 1917 whilst visiting the home of a parishioner. Prior to his installation as Vicar in April 1915, Rev. Hooper had been curate at Yardley for 20 years. The altar was dedicated on 14th October 1917, a year to the day after Horace’s death.
Photos of the altar (below) are courtesy of researchers at St Margaret’s Church, Olton.
If you have any further information about the Hill family, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977