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  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times 21 May 1915
Person Details
Retford Nottinghamshire
John was the son of Arthur John a farm foreman and Jane Hilton (née Smith) . Arthur and Jane had 10 children but only eight of them survived until 1911. In 1901 the family lived at Grove Kennels Ordsall and in 1911 at 26 Beeehive Street Retford.
He was an agricultural labourer and then enlisted in the army in 1909 and served in India with the Sherwood Foresters.
14 May 1915
282954 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
John joined the army before the outbreak of the war. He enlisted at Retford on 23rd January 1909 for a term of 7 years. He was 20 years 2 months old and lived in Ordsall, Retford. He joined the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbys Regiment) which on the outbreak of war was serving in India. On 2nd September 1914 the battalion returned to England where it remained until the 3rd November 1914 when it went to France, disembarking on 4th November 1914. On 9th May 1915 John was wounded as the result of an accident and treated at the Canadian Stationary Hospital, Le Touquet, but died of his wounds on 14th May 1915. He is buried in Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France (grave reference I C 5). CWGC - History of Le Touquet Paris Plage Communal Cemetery (extract): 'The Duchess of Westminister's Hospital (No.1 B.R.C.S) was at Le Touquet from October, 1914, to July, 1918, and the British graves in the Communal Cemetery were made from that hospital ... A wooden obelisk in memory of the British dead was erected in the cemetery by the Lifeboat men of the commune. There are now 142 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here all of whom died in the period November, 1914, to April, 1916.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'You are still by us remembered one of the unreturning brave' Retford Times 21 May 1915 - 'Pte J D Hilton' 'News has reached Retford of the death of another of our brave lads with the Sherwood Foresters. The deceased soldier is Private John Distance Hilton son of Mr and Mrs A Hilton 26 Beehive Street. He died on Friday last at Le Touquet from wounds received in action. The parents received the first notification of their son being wounded in the following letter from his friend Pte F Smallwood:- “I am sorry to tell you of your son's accident, but I told Jack if anything happened to him I would let you know as soon as possible. Jack was cook with me and I can tell you I miss him. He was always thought a lot of by the men. The wound that Jack received is not serious but I expect it will hake him home to England. Jack has been a chum of mine about six years, and I miss him. I am very sorry for him and I hope he will soon recover.” On Saturday night however, Mrs Hilton received the following telegram from the Officer in Charge:- Regret to inform you that No. 11062, Pte John Hilton, 1st Notts and Derby, died 10.50 am 14th May at the Canadian Stationary Hospital Le Touquet.” The War Office intimation, along with an expression of their Majesty’s sympathy, was received on Tuesday Morning. Private Hilton who was 26 years of age, enlisted in the Foresters six years ago and had served five years in India. He returned to England last October and after a four days’ visit to Retford went to the front with his regiment. Prior to enlisting he was employed by Mr Peck of Bothamsall.' Ordsall St Alban's parish magazine, September 1915, Honour to the Fallen: 'John Rossington, Percy Scott, Ernest King, Arthur Phillipson, JD Hilton, have been killed in France or Belgium.' (Retford Local Studies Library, ref 942.52 ORD) Retford & Worksop Herald and North Notts Advertiser, 14 September 1915 (extract): ‘Honour to the Fallen. John Rossington, Percy Scott, Ernest King, Arthur Phillipson and JD Hilton have been killed in France or Belgium, and Frank Stockdale was drowned in the Aegean Sea when the King Edward transport was torpedoed. Percy Scott, Ernest King, Frank Stockdale and Arthur Phillipson, were regular in their attendance at S. Alban’s Church, and were among the most promising of our younger Churchmen … Ordsall Parish Magazine.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times 21 May 1915
    John Distance Hilton - Photograph first published in the Retford Times 21 May 1915
  • Buried in Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    John Distance Hilton - Buried in Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)