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A Tribute to

Albert Hill VC

1895 - 1971
Photo Of Victoria Cross

...surrounded by over twenty Germans. He threw two hand grenades, killing and wounding about eighteen... this conduct throughout was magnificent

The town of Denton has proud links with Albert Hill who, despite being a weak and frail child, became a great soldier awarded the Victoria Cross for his action at the Somme.

Born in 1895, Hill was one of ten children. The family lived in Hulme but in 1907 moved to Peacock Street in Denton. After schooling at the Trinity Wesleyan School, Hill started work at the Alpha Mill and then became an apprentice planker at Wilson Hat Manufacturers on Wilton Street.

Photo of Albert Hill VCIn August 1914 he was accepted for the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He served in France and also in Flanders. His VC citation reports his gallantry :

'For most conspicuous bravery. On 20 July 1916, during the Somme Offensive, when 15280 Private Hill's battalion had been deployed under heavy fire, for an attack on the enemy in Delville Wood, France, the order to charge was given and he dashed forward. He met two of the enemy and bayoneted them both. Later, he was sent by his platoon sergeant, Hugh Green, to contact the enemy, and found himself cut off, being surrounded by over twenty Germans. He threw two hand grenades, killing and wounding about eighteen and scattering the remainder. He then joined a sergeant of his company and helped him to fight the way back to the lines. When he got back, hearing that his Company Officer, Captain Scales, and a scout were lying out wounded, he went out and assisted to bring in the mortally wounded Officer, two other men bringing in the scout. Finally, he himself captured two of the enemy and brought them in as prisoners. His conduct throughout was magnificent'.

Hill was feted on his return to Denton in October 1916. The crowds carried him on high and he received many gifts. The following month he received his Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Russian Cross of St George of the First Class and three campaign medals.

In February 1919, Hill returned to work at Wilson's Factory. He married Doris Wilson of Hyde on Valentine's Day the following year. They lived on High Street, Denton until 1923, when they emigrated to the United States. Hill found work as a building labourer. He tried to enlist when World War II broke out but was advised to do defence work instead.

In 1956 Hill made a brief return to England for the VC Centenary Celebrations. He died in Pawtucket in 1971 leaving a widow, three daughters and a son. He was buried with military honours at Hightown Memorial Park, Johnson, Rhode Island.

Hill Court in Wrexham is named after him and his medal is in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regimental Museum.