William James Hilton

Date of birth: 24th September 1898
Place of birth: Salisbury
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Rank / Service No: Private, 28300
Died: 28th March 1918, aged 19 years
Commemorated: Arras Memorial, France


William was the youngest of 6 known siblings born to William James and Mary Anne Hilton (nee Bevan), who married in Southampton in 1884.

Interestingly, the 1911 Census stated that the couple had been married 35 years but this is not proven by the facts.


It also stated that the couple had 9 children; it must be assumed that one has not been tracked down and a further two must have died in infancy.


Both parents were born in Southampton, although the family spent many years in Salisbury.

Latterly the parents and younger children lived at 29 Newton Road, Bitterne Park.


William James, a newsagent, was born in 1853 and he died in the New Forest in 1938.

Mary was born in 1856 and she passed away in the Forest in 1933.



Ada Cecilia   b. 1889 Salisbury   d. 1889 Salisbury

Emily Eliza  b. 1890 Salisbury   d. 1918 Southampton   Married Arthur H. Wightman in Southampton in 1915.

Edith Mary   b. 8 October 1892 Salisbury   d. 1975 New Forest   Married Douglas G. Peckham in Southampton in 1920.

Ethel May   b. 29 September 1894 Salisbury   d. 1977 Southampton   Married Spencer C. Woodhouse in Southampton in 1915. Married Harry J. Peckham in Gosport in 1948.

Charles Henry   b. 23 April 1896 Salisbury   d. 1949 Southampton   Married Janet Earwood in Southampton in 1921.

William James


William died on the first day of the First Battle of Arras, the last desperate attempt by the German generals to try and persuade the French to surrender.


At 03.00 on 28 March, the stillness was shattered by the chaotic din of a terrific German bombardment.

Their infantry attacked at 07.00 and was met by devastating fire from British artillery and machine guns.


The Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 UK, South African and New Zealand servicemen who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918 and who have no known grave.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 29th September 2016


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