Major Arthur Rowland Hill

Memorial to Arthur Rowland Hill in Selham church
Memorial to Arthur Rowland Hill in Selham church

Regiment: 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment
Date & place of birth: 23 July 1880 in Bromley, Kent
Date & place of death: 3 October 1915 at Vermelles, Pas de Calais, France, aged 35

Arthur was a regular army officer, from a soldiering family, who had served in the Boer War and India before being posted to the Western Front. He was killed in action while rallying his men at Vermelles, Pas de Calais, France.

Family background

Arthur Rowland Hill was born on 23 July 1880. He was the eldest son of Colonel Arthur Hill and Katharine Emily née Morris of The Priory, Selham. His brothers were Commander George Mytton Hill RN, Harold Brian Cunningham Hill FRGS and Reginald Herbert Hill.

Arthur was educated at Rottingdean and Wellington College.

In 1908 he married Kathleen Todd, daughter of C James Todd. Arthur and Kathleen had three children: Christina Mary, Alison Kathleen and the third Brenda Rowland, who was born only a few days before his death.

Military service

Arthur joined his father’s regiment, the ‘Cheshires’, in 1899.

He served in the Boer War and then went to India with his regiment in 1904. In India he became adjutant to the Railway Volunteers at Madras, as well as to his own regiment.

When war broke out Arthur was home from India on furlough and he was ordered to re-join his regiment at once. His battalion returned to England, landing at Devonport on 24 December 1914 and then moving to Winchester. It mobilised for war, landing at Le Havre on 17 January 1915. During 1915 it engaged in The Second Battle of Ypres and The Battle of Loos.

Death & commemoration

Arthur had been at the front about seven months when, on 3 October 1915, he was killed in action while rallying his men at Vermelles during The Battle of Loos. He was aged 35.

He is commemorated on The Loos Memorial panel 49 and 50, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, on the Selham war memorial and on an individual plaque in Selham church.

Subsequent family history

Arthur’s mother died in 1949 and his father in 1950.

His eldest daughter, Christina, married the 2nd Baron Riverdale in 1933 and died in 1991. His second daughter, Alison, married Henry Seaward Morley in 1934. His third daughter, Brenda, had died in 1917.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project