William Thomas Hillier

Date of birth: 1898
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2nd
Rank / Service No: Private, 24617
Died: 25th August 1917, aged 19 years
Buried: Bristol (Arnos Vale) Cemetery (Screen Wall 2.675)


William was the only child of Thomas and Edith Mary Hillier (nee Thomas), who married in Southampton in 1897.


The family evidently did not have a permanent abode in the city, because they were lodging with the Mabey family at 39 Ascupart Street, St. Mary’s at the 1901 Census.


Thomas was born in Chilbolton in 1844 and he died in Southampton in 1922.

Edith had been born in Freemantle in 1857 and she remarried after Thomas’ death, to the exotically-named Innochoncha C. G. Doling, in 1925.


Edith passed away in the city in December 1928.



The 2nd Hampshire Battalion returned to Plymouth from India on 22 December 1914, and immediately moved to Romsey.

They were attached to the 88th Brigade in the 29th Division, and embarked on March 28 1915 bound for Gallipoli.


After that campaign, the battalion departed for Alexandria in January 1916, bound for Marseilles and action on the Western Front.


They landed in France on 29 March 1916 and were immediately dispatched to the front.

The battalion was part of Allenby’s Third Army, still in the 29th Division, at Arras between 9 April and 16 May 1917.


The 29th Division took part in the phase of the Arras offensive known as the Second Battle of the Scarpe, between 23 – 24th April 1917.


William was probably wounded during the Third Battle of the Scarpe, still part of the 1917 Arras Offensive.


He would have been treated at a field hospital in Flanders, but was obviously so badly wounded that he was sent home.

It can be assumed that he disembarked at Avonmouth but died in a Bristol hospital.


The cemetery holds 356 WW1 burials and those whose graves not marked by a headstone are identified on a Screen Wall Memorial.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 29th September 2016


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