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  • Bouilly Cross Roads Military Cemetery (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
James was the son of James and Sarah Ann Hill (née Musson). His father James Hill was born in Hitchen, Hertfordshire, in 1850. His mother Sarah Ann was born in Carlton, Nottingham, in about 1857, the daughter of John Musson. James and Sarah had been married for 35 years by 1911 although the registration of their marriage (c.1876) has not yet been traced. According to information provided by James on the 1911 Census, he and Sarah had had nine children of whom only six were still living. Although the family was recorded living in Nottingham on the 1881 and 1891 census, three of the children recorded on census returns were born in London between 1884 and 1889. Also, it seems likely that one daughter was recorded on consecutive census under different names (Eliza then Nellie). Eight children have been identified from census registrations and corresponding birth registrations: Robert William b. Carlton 1878 (A/M/J) d. 1907; Emma b. Carlton 1881; Thomas b. London 1884 (reg. Pancras, mother's surname Musson); James [John James] b. London reg. 1887 (J/F/M Pancras, Musson); Ellen [Nellie] Rachel b. London 1889 (Pancras, Musson) d. 1907 [alternative Nellie Elizabeth [Eliza] b. London 1890 (O/N/D Kensington); Lucy Ann b. Carlton 2 March 1892; Richard Henry b. Carlton 1894 (reg. J/F/M) and George b. Carlton 1897 (reg. J/F/M). In 1881 James (31) a general labourer, and Sarah (23) were living on Brook Street, Nottingham, with their two children Robert (2) and Emma (under 1 year). There followed a period in London but by 1891 James and Sarah were back in Nottingham and again living on Brook Street this time with Sarah's widowed father John Musson (61) an agricultural labourer as was his son-in-law. Also in the household were the children Robert, Emma, Thomas (6), James (4) and Eliza (sic) aged one year. By 1901 James, now a bricklayers' labourer, and Sarah were living at 17 Oldham Street, Carlton Road, Nottingham. In the household on the night of the census were Robert a horse driver, Thomas a beer bottler, James a telegraph lad, Nellie (sic) aged 11, Lucy (9), Richard (7) and George (4). James jnr. enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in March 1905. Both Robert William and Ellen Rachel probably died in 1907; Robert in the second quarter of the year and Ellen in the fourth. The family home was still at 27 Oldham Street in 1911. James was a labourer (excavation) and Sarah a charwoman. Only three of their six surviving children were in the home on the night of the census: Lucy a hosiery mender, Richard a printer (mounting) and George a 'learner' printing. Emma had married Harry Ebenezer Stevenson in 1901 (O/N/D) and in 1911 they were living at Victoria Buildings, Nottingham, with their children Alfred and Lucy. Thomas has not yet been traced on the census, but James was still serving with the 2n Bn Grenadier Guards and recorded in Connaught Military Hospital, Marlborough Lines, Aldershot. George's parents were still living at 27 Oldham Road when he was killed in 1914. His father died in 1922 and his mother in September 1933. James married Ada Archer (b. 10 October 1891) in 1912 (J/A/S Windsor Berks) and their son, James Thomas Hill was born in Nottingham on 24 June 1913 (J/A/S Nottingham). It is likely that he had been discharged from the Grenadier Guards to the Army Reserve in 1912 and that he was employed by John Player and Sons. His widow Ada married Alfred James Barnes at Paddington in 1919 and they lived at 4 Stallbridge Street, Marylebone. However, Ada's son James Thomas married Irene A Woodward (b. 20 April 1916) in Nottingham in 1939 (A/M/J Nottingham) and when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living on Knole Road Nottingham. James was a dispatch clerk at a tobacco factory. He died on 28 July 1987. Of James's siblings: Emma married Harry Ebeneezer Stevenson (b. 1 May 1876) in 1901 and there are records of five children: Alfred James b. 2 September 1904, Lucy b. 1909, Mary b. 20 November 1917, George b. 1920 and Annie E. b. 1 April 1922, although a notice of George's death in the newspaper implies other brothers. In 1911 Harry and Emma were living in Victoria Buildings, Carlton Road, with their two children Alfred and Lucy. They were living at 15 Beauchamp Street, Nottingham, with their daughters Mary and Annie in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled; Harry was 'incapacitated' but had been a collier-hewer. Their son George was killed in action on 6 June 1942 (see 'Extra information'). Harry died on 11 November 1949 and Emma in 1962. Thomas has not yet been traced after 1901 when he was still living with his parents. Lucy Ann married Arthur C Marson in 1913. In 1939, Lucy, a hosiery examiner and described as married, was living at 27 Oldham Street with her daughter Irene Marson (b. 6 January 1920), a hosiery machinist. Lucy died on 27 March 1990. Richard Henry attested in December 1914 and was posted to the 3rd Bn Grenadier Guards. He was 21 and a salesman (miilinery) and still living at 27 Oldham Road with his parents. He served overseas from 26 July 1915 until 4 March 1919, returning to England on 5 March. He had married Amelia Woolley at Sneinton parish church on 22 December 1917 and was discharged to an address off Canning Street, Nottingham. George served in the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) and died of wounds on 12 October 1918. (See 'Extra information')
James was a 'telegraph lad' in 1901 and a telegraphist when he enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in January 1905.
03 Oct 1914
328840 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham in 1905
2nd Bn Grenadier Guards
James enlisted in the Grenadier Guards at Nottingham 21 January 1905. He was serving with the 2nd Bn when he was recorded on the 1911 Census at the Connaught Military Hospital, Marlborough Lines, Aldershot. However, if James joined the army on a 12 year engagement - 7 years with the Colours and 5 years in the Reserve - it is likely that he was discharged to the Army Reserve in 1912. His son was born in Nottingham in 1913 and it is unlikely that he had been employed by John Player and Son, on whose war memorial he is commemorated, before he enlisted in 1905. If this is the case, then he would have been mobilized on the outbreak of war. He entered theatre (France) on 13 August 1914 and was killed in action at Chevonnes, France, on 3 October 1914. He is buried in Bouilly Cross Roads Military Cemetery, France (grave ref. I.B.18). The cemetery is near to Reims. James qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Boully Cross Roads Military Cemetery (extract): 'The cemetery was created in 1918 by the French Forces to contain British, French, Italian and German soldiers who had fallen in the vicinity. After the Armistice all other nationalities were removed and the cemetery was used for the concentration of British graves from the surrounding area. [listed] Most of the casualties who are buried here fell in the Battle of the Marne (18th July-6th August, 1918).' 208 graves
James's brother George served in the 1/7th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) (307059), and died of wounds on 12 October 1918 (Queant Communal Cemetery British Extension). (See record on this Roll of Honour) Their nephew, George, the son of Harry and Emma Stevenson (née Hill), served in the 425 Bty 107 (The South Notts Hussars) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (892619 Gunner) and was killed in action on 6 June 1942 (Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma). Nottingham Evening Post, 15 July 1942 (photograph): ‘Local War Casualties. Driver mechanic George Stevenson, South Notts Hussars, of 83 Northwood-crescent, an old member of the Dayeyne-street Boys’ Club is missing.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 6 June 1944: ‘Stevenson. D/Mec. George, SNH, presumed killed Knightsbridge, MEF, 1942. Life was at its best, God in His mysterious manner took our dear brother home to rest. Ever loving brothers and sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: 'Killed Chevonnes France'. Will in favour of his widow, Ada (Mrs Ada Barnes) WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: Widow Ada Hill b. 10 October 1891 and child James Thomas Hill b. 24 June 1913. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Acknowledgements', 23 September 1933: ‘The family of the late Sarah Ann Hill wish to thank all relatives, friends, neighbours and members of the Carlton-road IMC Mothers’ Class for floral tributes and sympathy in their great loss.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Bouilly Cross Roads Military Cemetery (www.cwgc.org)
    James Hill - Bouilly Cross Roads Military Cemetery (www.cwgc.org)
  • James's nephew, killed in action 6 June 1942. Photograph Nottingham Evening Post, 15 July 1942. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    George Stevenson, South Notts Hussars - James's nephew, killed in action 6 June 1942. Photograph Nottingham Evening Post, 15 July 1942. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)