Dorothy Hill

Author: Gerald Soper
Date published: 30/01/2021

John William Hill (1888 – 1965)

Dorothy Hill (1897 – 1974)


John William was born 21 September 1888 in Newbury, the son of Robert Henry and Alice Annie, nee Andrews, Hill. He was recorded with his parents and four siblings at Kennet Court, West Mills in Newbury in the 1891 census. His father Robert was recorded as a railway labourer.


John attended West Mills school then on 3 February 1896 he joined St Nicolas Church of England school, leaving on 22 March 1901.


In the 1901 census John was living with his parents Robert and Annie in West Mills in Newbury with siblings Henry Charles aged 16, Francis aged 14, twins Florence & Edith aged 10, Beatrice Ellen aged 8, Emma aged 6 & Alfred aged 4. Robert was recorded as a general labourer, brothers Henry & Francis were errand boy (saddlers) & builder’s carter respectively.


Ten years later in the 1911 census John was still living with his parents Robert and Annie in West Mills in Newbury with siblings Henry Charles aged 26, Beatrice Ellen aged 18, Emma aged 16, Leonard aged 7, Rose Alice aged 5 & Ella Edna May aged 3. John was recorded as a plumber, Robert a general labourer, Henry as a plumber gas fitter, Beatrice a laundress & Emma a general servant.


John joined the Royal Navy on 28 April 1915 for the duration of the hostilities. He served on HMS President at Roehampton, which was a training ship for gunners and sailors. He left the Navy on 31 March 1918 and joined the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 (the day the RAF was founded) as an air mechanic grade C. He was promoted to leading mechanic on 12 February 1919 before being transferred to the reserves on 13 March 1919. He was deemed discharged on 30 April 1920.


Robert married Dorothy Jessamine Oliver in 1918 in Newbury. Dorothy was born 8 February 1897 in Newbury, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth, nee Whiteman, Oliver. In the 1901 census Dorothy was living with her parents in Broad Street in Thatcham, Henry was recorded as a printer and stationer. In the 1911 census Dorothy was living with her parents at 114 Bartholomew Street in Newbury and recorded as still being at school.


In the 1920 and 1921 electoral registers John was recorded at Carisbrooke, Clifton Road in Newbury. In 1929 to 1931 John and Dorothy were recorded at St Kilda, Redfield Road in Thatcham.


When the 1939 register was recorded on 29 September 1939 John and Doreen were recorded at 30a Northbrook Street in Newbury. John’s occupation was plumbing and heating engineer (master) and he was also recorded as a special constable.


John died 1 April 1965 and was buried at Newtown Road Cemetery on 6 April, he was still living at 30a Northbrook Street at the time of his death. He left a will and probate was granted 12 May 1965 at Oxford to Lloyds Bank, the value of the estate was £4,474.


Dorothy died in in 1974 while living at Willows Edge, Hutton Close in Newbury and her ashes were buried at Newtown Road Cemetery on 13 July 1974.


The parents of both John and Dorothy were buried at Newtown Road Cemetery, John’s father Robert Henry on 15 March 1923 and his mother Alice Annie on 19 December 1932. Dorothy’s father Henry was buried on 11 January 1918 and her mother Elizabeth on 2 June 1934. In addition, three of John’s brothers were buried at Newtown Road Cemetery, Albert Arthur Hill on 22 July 1899, Ernest George Hill on 11 December 1901 and Francis Thomas Hill on 18 April 1934.


Sources:as above

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