Research and text by Brian Roote
Reginald Hill was born in 1887 to George and Esther nee Goodrich. Baptised 4 June 1888 in St Dunstan’s, Stepney. His father was an oil merchant who became a company director. His mother Esther died in 1900 at the early age of 46. They lived at ‘Hilltop’, Foxley Hill Lane, Purley.
In 1903 he was apprenticed to the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and in 1910 was sent to St Bartholomews’s Hospital as a Medical Student. He gained his qualifications and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.
War came and he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was attached as a Lieutenant to the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards, and went to France. During a leave he married Ivy Elizabeth Rayner in St Mark’s Church, Woodcote. They had a daughter Elizabeth in 1917. During his service he was awarded the Military Cross. The official report states ‘ during an attack he continually attended the wounded under heavy barrage and quickly formed a dressing station under continuous fire. By his cheerfulness and devotion to duty he set a splendid example to all ranks’.
The family first heard that he was killed by a shell but later accounts from his colleagues gave the truth that he was shot. He had sent an orderly to collect some supplies but as the man was a long time returning he went looking for him and took a bullet from the nearby German gunners on 11 October 1917.
He was buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, grave 111. 3d.21
He left his father and another £912.1s.7d in his will.