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Leslie Lewis Hill was born at 84 Gold St Collingwood, 13 February 1888, the sixth of the seven children of William Samuel Hill and Margaret Roberts. Three sons had already died by the time LLH was born. In about 1899 WSH took his wife and remaining four children, Beatrice, Ethel, Leslie and Elsie to Western Australia to make his fortune (or not) on the goldfields.
This is a photo of W. S. Hill's four adult children: Ethel May, Beatrice Harriet, Leslie Lewis, and Mary Elizabeth (Elsie), I think in that order.
In this photo of Leslie, he is on our right, next to his sister Beatrice: he was 6'2" tall. My guess is that this photo is to mark the marriage of Ethel and Fletcher Hogarth, the couple on our left. Billy Hill is in the middle with his grandsons William Robert and David Michael Gillard.
Leslie Hill enlisted 17 February 1915 and saw active service in France.
His sister Ethel wrote him a letter in verse, addressed to 'Les', which has survived (as a photocopy) in the possession of GMG. He married (to Vera Close?) but had no children - possibly because of his war wound?
My dear Brother Les, just a few lines I write
To hope you are well & to say we're alright.
I received a letter from you just today,
Which confirms a rumour I heard, far from gay,
That flies, fleas, and insects including dread lice,
Make life in the trenches, well, something not nice.
I'll send some insectibane borax & such,
Then perhaps the vile creepers won't trouble you much.
So Lionel would not believe twas my verse
You can tell him from me, I have wrote a lot worse,
For absolute proof you may show him this letter,
By next mail perhaps I may do something better.
I see by Initials that Lieutenant Pugh
Has censored your letter, a nasty job too,
And poor old Bill Vincent has got diarrhoea,
Oh, I wish to the Lord, all the Boys were back here
And this rotten war over, and Bill Kaiser hung,
And his troublesome carcase to carrion flung.
Ethel and Flo are both coming tonight
To cheer up our spirits and keep us all bright,
For our sweethears and brothers away at the war
Will wish all the girls to be merry I'm sure.
And now my dear brother, I will say Au Revoir
With love to my Cobbers so far from the shore
Of sunny Australia, and now I must say
Good luck and God bless you is my prayer alway.
Leslie Hill was wounded at Ypres 19 September 1917, sustaining a compound fracture of the left femur, which led to him being discharged 30 August 1918 with a 1914-1915 Star, a British War Medal and a Victory medal. Click for larger size.
The military records are from files in the National Archives. The pages above are only three of the seventy-nine (79!) in his file.
Coate, Yvonne E. & Kevin Coate, More Lonely Graves of Western Australia, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA, 2000.
Palmer, Alex, Yundamindra: Its Towns, Mines, People and Station, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA, 2006.
Many thanks to fellow descendant and researcher Adrian Spall.
Garry Gillard | New: 1 February, 2011 | Now: 21 December, 2020