Joseph Bernard Hill signature

Joseph Bernard Hill died 100 years ago today. He was in the Canadian Field Artillery and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in October 1916 and awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field in July 1917.

Joseph Bernard Hill Military Medal citation

Military Medal citation card for Joseph Bernard Hill, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at FARBUS on May 3rd 1917. This N.C.O. was in charge of the linesmen and kept patrolling the lines despite the intense enemy shell fire and not only supervised the repairing of the lines but also carried messages from the Brigade to the other Batteries whose lines were out. The lines were continuously being broken but communications were never lost for more than a few minutes at a time. Cpl. HILL by his splendid display of courage and coolness under heavy shell fire set a magnificient [sic] example to the men in his charge.

In September 1918 he was involved in the attack on Cambrai in northern France as part of the 17th Battery of the 5th Brigade of the CFA.

The war diary of his unit notes that on September 30th one N.C.O. (non-commissioned officer) and one gunner were killed. Hill must have been the N.C.O. mentioned here. The previous page records that “at 8.00 a.m. the 17th Battery crossed the DOUAI-CAMBRAI Road and were met by a heavy M.G. [machine gun] and Whizz bang [shell] fire.” This may have been how Hill was killed.

War diary for 5th brigade CFA

Hill’s service record contains his will, in which he left all his possessions to his mother, Bernadetta.

Will of Joseph Bernard Hill

Joseph was buried in the Ontario Cemetery, Sains-les-Marquion, some 14km west of Cambrai. He is remembered on the Deseronto memorial.

Deseronto memorial