Service number 269617
Born: September 7th 1922
Died: February 18th 1944
David was the eldest child of Capt. James S. Hill, M.C., M.A., B.Sc and his wife Hilda Marion Killip. He was born in Oxford and had a younger brother and sister.
His father was a schoolmaster in Oxford. His mother’s father, Robert Hazell Killip who died in1913, came from a well known Manx family and was a Wesleyan Minister and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
David was educated at the City of Oxford High School for Boys and moved to Truro School as a boarder from 1935 to 1940. [His aunt, Miss E.H. Killip, MA, was headmistress of West Cornwall School, Penzance, a Methodist girls’ school. & this may have been an influence in him moving to Truro.]
At Speech Day in July 1936 he was given the Commended Form Prize for Form IV as well as the Latin subject prize. The following summer he took the London General School Midsummer Exam and passed with exemption from the London Matriculation exam. In 1938 he was a warden, and then prefect for Smith House. He sat the London Higher School exam in June 1939 in Physics, Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Chemistry. He gained exemption from the Inter Science exam with a distinction in Physics.
The school magazine for Easter 1940 listed his activities and achievements: prefect, Smith House vice-captain, 1st XI soccer and 1st XV rugby teams, Matriculation, the Higher School certificate, the Inter BSc, Open Scholarship for Oxford, a Workman Exhibition in 1937, editor of the school magazine. He also helped backstage for the Drama Society, took part in the House entertainments and was a member of the School’s scout troop.
In the summer of 1940 he played for the 2nd XI cricket team and came second in the Senior School tennis doubles tournament. At Sports Day he was runner up to the Victor Ludorum, winning all three of his events – Half Mile (Open) 2 mins 17 ¾ secs, House Relay (Open) and Mile (Open) 5 mins 14 1/5th secs.
He Matriculated in 1940 and came up to Christ Church with several scholarships – the Open scholarship in Natural Science, Christchurch, Oxford of £100 per annum for 3 years, the Oxford County Scholarship, the Durning-Lawrence Scholarship, tenable for 3 years at Oxford and the Hugh Bourne Scholarship. At Speech Day in 1940 he also won a Vinter prize for advanced studies
Truro School magazine in December 1941 reported that Hill was at university and “took 2nd class Honours in Mods. at Oxford at the end of his First Year. He is continuing a special Course in Geology and Wireless.” Six months later it was reported that he had called at school while on a week’s cycling holiday. He was awarded his BA in 1944.
He entered Sandhurst in August 1942 and passed out in April 1943. In December 1942, the school magazine reported that he was training as an Officer Cadet at Sandhurst. He wrote to the school:
“We are now spending an interesting month in being toughened up, which will be capped by a week at a Battle School. I heard recently from Basil Mitchell of Liskeard, who hopes to be in the RAC in the near future. Some people do not realise the limitations of motor cycles and continually try to climb trees with them. However, we can all testify to the excellence of the crash-helmets provided.”
He joined 17th/21st Lancers in North Africa in May 1943. In December 1943 he was attached to the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in Italy. In January 1944 it was reported that he was a Lieutenant stationed in North Africa and had recently spent 6 weeks in hospital with jaundice and mumps though he was now fully recovered.
He was killed on February 18th 1944
He is buried in the Beachhead War Cemetery at Anzio Plot XVII. H. 5.
The school received a letter from his father in early March stating that a telegram had come from the Central Mediterranean Area informing him that David was reported missing from Patrol operations in Italy in February. He was attached to a battalion in 5th Army, and had been engaged in Patrol work, which he greatly enjoyed.
In May 1945 The Truronian reported that Hill who had been killed whilst on patrol in Italy, ‘was always very keen on scouting. When on leave in North Africa he made friends with a troop of Arab Scouts and spent most of his leave with them”
With grateful acknowledgement to Truro School.