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Thread: Cpl Stanley Walter Alexander Hill - 653 AOP Squadron

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    Default Cpl Stanley Walter Alexander Hill - 653 AOP Squadron

    Iím not sure if Iím posting this in the correct place or if it should be in unaccounted for Airmen Ė if so perhaps one of the Mods could move it to the right place please.

    In my research of aviation graves in Norfolk I have come across one that has me baffled. In the graveyard of St.Leonardís Church in Billingford (near Diss) in South Norfolk lies 613599 Corporal Stanley Walter Alexander Hill. His CWGC grave certificate indicates he served with 653 AOP Squadron RAF and he died on 21st November 1944 at the age of 29.

    Assuming Iíve got the correct man his death is registered in Bromsgrove (Worcestershire). I think he was born in West Ham and his parents were also from that area. He married his wife Ivy in Hull a few months before he died. Her maiden name looks to have been Rudderham and she was from the East Riding of Yorkshire. The CWGC certificate states that Ivy Hill was living in Marfleet Yorkshire so that fits.

    At the time Cpl Hill died 653 AOP Squadron was operating in mainland Europe. Iíve looked at their ORB for November 44 and, not entirely surprisingly (given where his death seems to be registered), can find no mention of Cpl Hill.

    I have tried looking for him in the Casualty Communiques in the Flight Archive but canít spot him there either. That said I do struggle with the casualty reports so I could have missed something.

    Basically I canít connect this chap to his stated unit, I canít find him as a casualty, and I certainly canít connect him to a small village in South Norfolk.

    Any information, ideas, suggestions as to how he comes to be where he is and how he died would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks J.

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    norfolkjohn, Hi,
    Time, possibly, to begin thinking "outside the box"??
    Cpl Hill's Service Number indicates he Enlisted sometime after Mar 1938 (and, probably, only a very short time after Mar 1938). He was a 'Civilian' prior to Enlistment. What his Trade was can, probably, only be revealed by his Service Record.
    You might, possibly, look at the families of Hair (MMS), Liddle (Mother's 2nd forename), and Claydon (Father's 2nd forename), to see if there is any local connection with Billingford (or area)?
    Apologies if I might send you chasing the wrong wild geese up the wrong gum trees (so to speak!) but 'looking sideways' - in this game - has sometimes (but not often!!) produced the key to the riddle!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 13th March 2016 at 12:09. Reason: Afterthought (and QSD)
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter, many thanks for your suggestions which I will certainly follow up. I had already thought of looking at the name Hair but hadn't thought about the parents second names. If I have any luck I'll report back accordingly. In the mean time I'm open to any and all further suggestions / information.

    Thanks again, J.

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    Update Ė I am no further forward on the circumstances of Cpl Hillís death but I have now sorted out the Norfolk connection, and am kicking myself for not having been more thorough in the first place.

    Spurred on by Peterís (Resmoroh) suggestions I did start to look at possible wider family connections in East Anglia but then realised there was one aspect of the immediate family I had not checked. This was where Cpl Hillís parents died. It turns out his motherís death, in 1973 at the age of 82, was registered in the Hartsmere district of Suffolk. This is on the border with Norfolk and the same general area as Billingford where Stanley Hill is buried.

    I found two possible candidates for the death of his father, also a Stanley Hill but with the middle name variously spelt as Clayton / Claydon / Clayden. There is a Stanley C. Hill who died in the Essex S.W. area in 1951 but there is also a Stanley C. Hill who died in the Depwade district of South Norfolk in the fourth quarter of 1963 at the age of 72. Although the age looks to be one year out Depwade includes the parish of Billingford.

    Finally I checked to see if I could find any siblings of Cpl Hill. This turned up four sisters, two younger and two older. The first four children including Stanley all have their births registered in West Ham but, the birth of the final child is registered in Ė yes you guessed it Ė Depwade.

    The fourth child was born in 1917 and the last one in 1919 so it looks like the family moved to the area of the Norfolk / Suffolk border around the end of the First World War. I havenít found any previous family connections to the area so it looks like the move was probably work related in some way.

    At any rate it now seems pretty clear that the Billingford area was the home of the Hill family and hence why Stanley was brought there for burial.

    Although this sorts out the family history and Norfolk connection I would still really like to find out the circumstances of his death so any further information / assistance on this would still be very greatly appreciated. J.

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    Hello,

    ROLL OF HONOUR - ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    Died of Wounds or Injuries Received on Active Service.

    HILL, Cpl. S.W.A.

    The Times. Friday, January 26, 1945. p.7.

    Col.

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    Many thanks for that info Col. Makes me think I perhaps need to look back to the month before he died to find the incident which ultimately led to his death.

    Thanks again J.

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    I have now had a look at the 653 Sqn ORB for October 1944 and also scrutinised November again in detail. This throws up a couple of possible leads - one more promising than the other - I think.

    On 24th October the Summary of events states "A Flt Capt Jenkyns shot down and wounded by susp 20mm". There are no corresponding details on the incident in the Record of events but a trawl of Air Britain Serials (confirmed by info on the www) gives the aircraft involved as Auster IV MS959. Although the ORB gives no information about Observers carried on any flights it seems possible Cpl Hill could have been the observer on this aircraft. The date of the incident gives time for him to have been repatriated and then die of his wounds / injuries on 21st November - but this is based only on circumstantial evidence.

    The only other outside possibility I have found is that on 17th November 1944 the 653 ORB Summary section mentions "C/652 came under command 49 Div Ex 9 A.G.R.A. The Flt Cmdr (Capt. Vipond) & his observer injured in crash". C flight of 652 Sqn appear to have been operating under the control of 653 Sqn at this time. Their (652) ORB is very sketchy and contains no details of this incident at all. I have also failed to find an Auster being written off on 17/11/44. I feel this is less likely to be the incident in which Cpl Hill was injured as the aircraft was actually from 652 Sqn (but 652 was under control of 653 so Hill could just possibly have been on board) but more importantly is it credible that Clp Hill could have been repatriated within 3 days of this incident ? I say this given his rank and the general military situation , and hence priorities, in mainland Europe at the time.

    I have checked and can find neither Capt Jenkyns nor Capt Vipond on the CWGC records as having been killed so both look to have recovered from their injuries. Cpl Hill is the only 653 (or 652) death I can find in October / November 1944.

    I think it is possible that Army records (War Diaries) for 653 / 652 AOP Squadrons may contain some further clues but they are not digitised so not available remotely from TNA.

    If anyone has any further thoughts or info on the above I would be most interested. J.

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    Norfolkjohn, Hi,
    Looks as if that Death Cert is becoming more important. If he "Died of Wounds . . ." then the Place of Death (on the DC) might well be some military hospital facility within the Bromsgrove Reg District. OR - he was on Sick Leave with colleagues/rellies, took 'a turn for the worse', Reported Sick to the local civilian hospital and/or GP, and subsequently died.
    We will get 'im yet!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Nephew of Stanley

    Stanley was my uncle. Sadly all of his siblings are now dead!


    Quote Originally Posted by norfolkjohn View Post
    Iím not sure if Iím posting this in the correct place or if it should be in unaccounted for Airmen Ė if so perhaps one of the Mods could move it to the right place please.

    In my research of aviation graves in Norfolk I have come across one that has me baffled. In the graveyard of St.Leonardís Church in Billingford (near Diss) in South Norfolk lies 613599 Corporal Stanley Walter Alexander Hill. His CWGC grave certificate indicates he served with 653 AOP Squadron RAF and he died on 21st November 1944 at the age of 29.

    Assuming Iíve got the correct man his death is registered in Bromsgrove (Worcestershire). I think he was born in West Ham and his parents were also from that area. He married his wife Ivy in Hull a few months before he died. Her maiden name looks to have been Rudderham and she was from the East Riding of Yorkshire. The CWGC certificate states that Ivy Hill was living in Marfleet Yorkshire so that fits.

    At the time Cpl Hill died 653 AOP Squadron was operating in mainland Europe. Iíve looked at their ORB for November 44 and, not entirely surprisingly (given where his death seems to be registered), can find no mention of Cpl Hill.

    I have tried looking for him in the Casualty Communiques in the Flight Archive but canít spot him there either. That said I do struggle with the casualty reports so I could have missed something.

    Basically I canít connect this chap to his stated unit, I canít find him as a casualty, and I certainly canít connect him to a small village in South Norfolk.

    Any information, ideas, suggestions as to how he comes to be where he is and how he died would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks J.

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    John,

    Very good to see a post from a surviving relative of Stanley. If by any chance you know anything more about how and where he was wounded I would love to hear from you. If you wish please feel free to send me a personal message or e-mail. Just click on my user name to get the contact details.

    I have obtained a copy of Stanley Hill's death certificate but unfortunately it provided very little extra information. It confirms that he died in Barnsley Hall Emergency Hospital, Bromsgrove and that his father was with him when he died. The cause of death is simply stated as "due to war operations".

    Kind regards, J
    Last edited by norfolkjohn; 17th February 2017 at 22:28.

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