A. E. Hills
Service no. 62590
Private, Royal Fusiliers, 9th Battalion
Died 15 June 1917, aged about 21
Remembered at Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Germany
This identification was made by Chris Burge, who writes:
Albert Edward Hills was born in 1896, then the youngest of the six children of parents Eugene Frederick (aka Thomas) and Sarah Hills. Albert was baptised as an infant on 20 May 1896 at St Stephen’s Church, South Lambeth. The family were then living in Beech Street. Albert’s sister Ethel, born around 1899, was the final addition to the family.
The 1911 census finds Albert living with his father, sisters Alice and Ethel, and older brother James. His father worked as a slater, James as a bricklayer’s labourer and Albert was 14-year-old office boy. The five adults occupied five rooms at 7 Beech street, South Lambeth (the address no loner exist but it was off the south side of Dorset Road), an area of social deprivation according to Charles Booth’s earlier poverty map.
Whether Albert was conscripted in 1916 or volunteered at the end of 1915 is not known. In any case, he appears to have initially enlisted at Westminster, London, joining the 2 Battalion, County of London Yeomanry as Private 2829, Hills. This was a training unit sending drafts of men to the front at regular intervals. The medal roll entry for Albert shows he was in France by 10 January 1917 and posted to the 9/Royal Fusiliers on 6 February as private 62590, Hills. It was Albert’s fate to be thrown into the cauldron of the Arras offensive in April and May of 1917.
Albert Edward Hills was taken prisoner near Monchy on 3 May 1917 with a grenade wound in the right knee. He was moved from Limberg to Hameln POW camp. He developed tetanus and died in the camp hospital on 15 June 1917 and was originally buried in the Hameln camp cemetery.
Albert’s father and sister Alice continued to live at 7 Beech Street in the 1920s, and later at Alverstone House, Lambeth. Albert’s father Eugene Frederick Hills passed away in 1941, aged 82.