- Born: 13 Apr 1881, 18 North St, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
- Died: 25 Sep 1915, France at age 34
- BuriedMale: Loos Memorial, Loos-en-Gohelle, , Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
At the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his mother and her new husband Robert at 3 Parliamentary Rd in Glasgow. Living here also were all of Ellen's sons from her first marriage: George Hill, 34, single, a Blacksmith's helper; Edward Hill, 29, single, a French Polisher; and David Hill, 24, single, a Butcher.
In WW1, Edward was a Private in the Highland Light Infantry, "B" Coy. 12th Bn., Service No. 17753.
The 12th Bn of the Highland Light Infantry was attached to the 15th (Scottish) Division in the IV Corps under Sir Douglas Haig's First Army and landed in Boulogne on 10 July 1915. This force participated in the Battle of Loos between 25th September - 18th October 1915. Tragically, Edward was killed in action on the first day of this Battle. The following describes the Battle as faced by the 15th on that first day:
The centre 15th (Scottish) Division
In this sector the gas cloud hung back, causing delays and some losses to the advancing troops. Although the infantry had only 200 yards to cross from the heads of the Russian saps, the gas and smoke only covered them for the first 40 - and as men emerged into the clear, two German machine-guns swept twice across the advancing line, causing many casualties. The MG's were soon joined by enemy artillery fire from beyond Loos. However, strong parties continued the advance, cleared the German front lines and began to storm through Loos village itself. By 8.00am the village was entirely in British hands. On the left of the Divisional front, men reached the La Bassee-Lens road by 9.15am. Reserves were ordered up to support this advance. Emerging from the village, men of many units advanced unopposed - but without clear landmarks and with few officers, they headed for the summit of Hill 70 rather than to the left which was the original plan. On the extreme right, the 1/9 Black Watch, finding that the expected flank defences of the 1/19 Londons absent, halted. The mass of infantry now on Hill 70, seeing Germans retreating in some disarray, began to advance down the far-side slope. This advance was caught by German crossfire from the 2nd line, and it was brought to a standstill by 10.30am, with men doing their best to take cover on completely open ground on the downward slope North of Cite St Laurent. Calls for artillery support were answered with a bombardment falling away to the left, on Cite St Auguste, the original objective of the Division. 200 men on the hill, now reinforced by the 7/RSF, dug in a trench behind the crest line. Although by 11.30am the enemy had reinforced his position in front of Cite St Laurent, steps had been taken to evacuate Lens, such was the threat of a further Scots advance.
Source: The Long, Long trail Website http://www.1914-1918.net/bat13.htm
Edward is remembered at the Loos Memorial in France. His Grave/Memorial reference is Panel 108 to 112.
The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of Dud Corner Cemetery, and commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay. Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens, and Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the N43 the main Lens to Bethune road.
Historical Information: Dud Corner Cemetery stands almost on the site of a German strong point, the Lens Road Redoubt, captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on the first day of the battle. The name "Dud Corner" is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.
Edward's brother David was also killed in action in France in 1918.