Thomas Hill's signature

Thomas Hill was born on January 25th, 1876, the son of Henry Hill and Mary (née Loft), who were Mohawks. He married Sarah Brant on December 17th, 1902 and the couple had five sons before Thomas joined the army.

On enlisting on this day in 1915 in Belleville, Hill reported that he had served for 16 years in the 49th Regiment (Hastings Rifles). He joined the 59th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, with the regimental number 454078. He is described as five feet six inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

Thomas’s service record shows that he arrived in England on April 11th, 1916, where he was transferred to the 21st Battalion. He was invalided home to Canada in March 1918, suffering from dilatation (enlargement) of the heart.

Thomas survived the war and in the 1921 census we find him back in the reserve at Tyendinaga, as a farmer, with Sarah, four sons and a three-day-old daughter. He died on July 6th, 1949 and it was determined that this was a consequence of his war service. The following letter was sent to Sarah after Thomas’s death:

Letter of sympathy on death of Thomas Hill

Dear Mrs. Hill:
The Honourable, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, wishes to extend his sincere sympathy on learning that the death of your husband, Private Thomas Hill, was related to his service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
You are also advised that the death of your husband being related to his service you will shortly receive a Silver Memorial Cross given by the Canadian Government as a slight token of appreciation of the sacrifice you have made.
As the mother of the late Private Hill will, if living, also be entitled to the Memorial Cross, I am to ask that you be so good as to furnish her full name and present address, or in the alternative, the approximate date of her death.
Yours truly,
G. Robertson,
for Director,
War Service Records